Will Smith recently took over the latest episode of Red Table Talk, which is usually cohosted by his wife Jada, daughter Willow, and mother-in-law, Adrienne Banfield Norris. 


During the episode Smith opened up about his bond with his youngest child, daughter Willow Smith, stating that that is the only female relationship that he hasn’t ruined. 

To understand his statement about his daughter, Smith started from the beginning, explaining that he grew up in an abusive home, which caused him to develop unhealthy defense mechanisms that impacted his personal life and his professional career.

“My father was violent in my house. So a part of the whole creation of Will Smith — the joking, fun, silly — was to make sure that my father was entertained enough not to hurt my mother or anybody in the house.” Smith went on to say that, as a result of the abuse he began to struggle with feelings of “inadequacy” and laughter became his “defense mechanism”. 

Smith stated that he believed that if he hurt people first, they couldn’t hurt him. “I realize the other side of it was, if I cut you bad enough, you wouldn’t be able to respond.” 

Consequently, his deep-seeded wounds affected his relationships with women, calling a woman’s disapproval “the central greatest pain in my life.”

Yet, it was Willow that became his catalyst for healing. “My relationship with Willow has been a major part of healing,” the 52-year-old actor said during his takeover while speaking to psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula. “Willow’s the only female relationship I’ve ever had that I didn’t mess up,” he said, adding, “I’m sure there are aspects from Willow’s point of view, she would say, ‘No, you messed some stuff up Dad,’ you know? But in my mind, I did right by her.”

Willow is the third child for Smith and second for he and wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Prior to Willow’s birth, Smith only had sons and in a June 2020 episode of the popular Facebook series, Smith shared that having a daughter changed him. He stated that having Willow, “introduced me to feelings” and “destroyed all my belief systems” in parenting. 

Click to view the Red Table Talk episode in its entirety. 

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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