Will Smith reveals he sank into midlife crisis over his family’s direction

Will Smith says he was at a crossroads when his family rejected the direction he had set for them

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The price of fame is paralyzing sometimes, and for superstar actor Will Smith it weighed so heavily on him and his family that it eventually broke him.

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The 50-year-old actor opened up to Haute Living magazine about the midlife crisis he experienced at the height of his career and at a time when his daughter Willow had gained fame for her “Whip My Hair” song.

Smith had been the architect over the building of a picture-perfect life, something he talked about on his wife Jada’s hit Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk. However, his dreams weren’t shared sentiments among his family members who he felt like led a mutiny against him in 2012.

“One of the major things that happened is that I hit that midlife-crisis point, where I’ve built all of the things I’ve ever dreamed of,” he told Haute Living magazine. “And in my family ― 2012 I secretly call the year of the mutiny. And 2012 was really the year that my family rejected the direction of my leadership.”

The West Philadelphia native said he was used to running a tight ship, given that his father was a military man who served in the Air Force, who ran his family unit with precision. But for Smith, his free-flowing family wasn’t trying to follow his commands and had plans all their own.

“Willow was really the first person during ‘Whip My Hair’ that decided she didn’t want to do what I said,” Smith 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 added: “She really tested me. She was like, no she didn’t want to. She was done with ‘Whip My Hair.’ ”

Willow revealed on Red table Talk that she was deliberately defiant and shaved her head bald in retaliation.

“That was really the first time that I realized that my family wasn’t happy with the direction that I was taking them. I felt like I was winning. We were succeeding. We had ‘Karate Kid’” starring Jaden, he said.

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“We had ‘Whip My Hair.’ Jada had ‘Hawthorne,’ and we hosted when Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize ― we hosted all of that in one year. I felt we were doing well, and my family wasn’t happy,” he said. “So, I took two years off.” 

Smith’s ah ha moment forced him to pull back and accept his family’s wishes. Something that Jada revealed helped her to find her purpose.

Willow, 18, recently shared that it took her some time to forgive her dad for being insufferable in her early years.

“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,” Willow said recently on an episode of “Red Table Talk.”

“It was a couple of years, honestly,” Willow continued. “Trying to regain trust for not feeling like I was being listened to or like no one cared how I felt.”

The pressures of being a star eventually led Willow to destructive self-behavior.

“And after all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull, I was just listening to a lot of dark music,” she said. “It was just so crazy and I was plunged into this black hole, and I was cutting myself.”

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Jada Pinkett Smith and her younger brother Caleeb share their deeply personal experience of struggling to forgive the man who hurt them the most – their father.

Posted by Red Table Talk on Wednesday, November 28, 2018