LL Cool J first realised he was the child of a dysfunctional family when he saw his dad shoot his mother when he was four.

The rapper-turned-actor still recalls hearing gunshots and then watching his mother writhing in agony after his father attacked her.

He tells men's magazine MAXIM BLENDER, "I woke up, walked into the kitchen, and saw my mother laying in a pool of her own blood. My dad was outside in a car, still firing a shotgun. My mother was in the hospital for a year.

"I learned two things that night. One, you can get past anything, no matter how severe. Two, you never know what can happen."

18/10/2004 21:04