Jenna Dewan honored her late friend Stephen “tWitch” Boss months after his death and reflected on the legacy he left behind.
“This is incredible, to have the moment to share in his love, light, and legacy,” the actress told People magazine on Friday at the National Alliance of Mental Illness Westside Los Angeles annual gala. “And being here to support Allison and their family I’ve known for so many years. They are truly the absolute best, biggest-hearted [people]. They take care of everybody else.”
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Dewan attended the event to present the Heart of a Champion award, alongside Derek Hough, in Boss’ honor to his wife Allison Holker Boss and their daughter Weslie Boss.
“I just think being here to help support her and her family and moving forward from tragedy and also supporting his legacy and his love and light and what he did for the world,” the Step Up star told the outlet on the gala’s red carpet. “You saw how everybody really felt this and felt him and he touched so many people. So to be able to be here and honor that is really important to me.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show DJ-turned-executive producer died by suicide in December last year, a rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter at the time.
“I think there was an uplifting energy that he gave to other people, and I think if there’s any lesson or anything we take home from this, it is what you present is not always what is the full picture,” Dewan added. “I hope people can see that you can struggle and be strong, and being strong doesn’t mean you don’t struggle. I think that is important to highlight that tonight.”
The dancer also opened up about her own personal experiences surrounding mental health issues in her family and the change she hopes to see regarding the topic.
“I’ve seen family members of mine struggle,” she continued. “I’ve seen a lot of shame around it. I’ve seen a lot of not wanting to comport or accept the help that is needed. That needs to change. We need to discuss it more. It needs to be something that is openly okay to discuss, to get help for. And I think that talking about it is really one of the main ways to do it.”
Allison Holker Boss, professional dancer and widow of the late Boss, recently gave her first major interview to People magazine about his death, telling the outlet, “No one had any inkling that he was low. He didn’t want people to know. He just wanted to be everyone’s Superman and protector.”
She also shared that she wanted him to be remembered in a positive light: “Stephen brought so much joy to this world, and he deserves to be remembered as the beautiful man he was.”
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