Daugh­ter’s re­bel­lious ways were a test for Will Smith

Com­pli­ca­tions be­gan fol­low­ing suc­cess of young singer’s ‘Whip My Hair’ in 2010


Wil­low Smith’s early rise to star­dom caused ten­sion with her fa­mous fa­ther Will Smith. The singer, 18, re­vealed on Mon­day’s

Red Ta­ble Talk they had a com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ship fol­low­ing the suc­cess of her de­but sin­gle “Whip My Hair” in 2010 when she was 10 years old.

She told mom Jada Pin­kett Smith on the Face­book Watch se­ries, “I def­i­nitely had to forgive you and daddy for that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing. It was mostly daddy be­cause he was so harsh at cer­tain times. It was a cou­ple of years, hon­estly. Try­ing to re­gain trust for not feel­ing like I was be­ing lis­tened to or like no one cared how I felt.”

The young star also said she didn’t know what she re­ally wanted at such a young age.

“And I had to forgive my­self be­cause I felt guilty be­cause ev­ery­one is try­ing to make me bet­ter, try­ing to make my dream,” she added. “But I didn’t re­ally un­der­stand what my dream en­tailed.”

Ear­lier this year, she ad­mit­ted that she self-harmed early in her ca­reer.

“I feel like I lost my san­ity at one point,” Smith said of the time sur­round­ing her song’s re­lease. “I had just stopped do­ing singing lessons and I was kind of just in this grey area of ‘Who am I? Do I have a pur­pose? Is there any­thing I can do be­sides this?’ ”

In an in­ter­view with Haute Liv­ing mag­a­zine Mon­day, Will Smith also opened up about his re­la­tion­ship with Wil­low dur­ing that time, not­ing he ex­pe­ri­enced a type of “mutiny” with his fam­ily over his lead­er­ship style.

“Wil­low was re­ally the first per­son dur­ing ‘Whip My Hair’ that de­cided she didn’t want to do what I said,” he said. “Be­cause she was the baby girl, she re­ally had the most power over me. As a man — if your daugh­ter says no, there’s re­ally noth­ing you can do.”

He con­tin­ued, “She re­ally tested me ... She was like, no she didn’t want to. She was done with ‘Whip My Hair.’ She was done with per­form­ing, and as a protest, she shaved her head bald. That was re­ally the first time that I real­ized that my fam­ily wasn’t happy with the di­rec­tion that I was tak­ing them.”


Wil­low Smith, right, opened up about the is­sues she had with fa­ther Will Smith in an in­ter­view with Adri­enne Ban­field-Jones, left, and Jada Pin­kett Smith.

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