Vereen, who is best known for his unforgettable portrayal of the character “Chicken George” in the 1977 epic saga “Roots,” reportedly filed a petition on Thursday morning citing “irreconcilable differences.” Vereen is also allegedly asking the court not to pay his wife spousal support.
While Nancy and Vereen reportedly met on the set of one of his plays and tied the knot in July 1976, according to court papers, he and his estranged wife, Nancy, have been living separately since March of this year.
Together, he and Nancy have endured the death of his 16-year-old daughter, Naja, who was killed when the vehicle she was a passenger in was struck by a tractor-trailer on a New Jersey highway ramp back in 1987. Vereen has stated that, at the time, he could not cope with his daughter’s death and wanted to take his own life, so he began dabbling with mind-numbing addictions that eventually took a dangerous toll on him.
And the couple remained together even during Vereen’s self-destructive plunge that resulted in an obsession with liquor and cocaine that he just could not shake. He wound up entering a rehab facility in order to combat his addictions, and has since regained his spiritual balance.