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Will Smith Opens Up On Jaden Asking To Be Emancipated At 15-Years-Old

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Will Smith Opens Up On Jaden Asking To Be Emancipated At 15-Years-Old

Will Smith has described the 'heart-shattering' moment that his son Jaden Smith asked to be emancipated from his parents at the age of just 15.

In an extract from his newly published memoir Will shared with People, the Men in Black and Ali actor said he was knocked for six when his son asked about being an emancipated minor.

Smith said his 'heart shattered' when he heard the news.

Jaden's request came after the pair had featured together in After Earth, which Will called 'an abysmal box office and critical failure'.

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He said: "And what was worse was that Jaden took the hit.

"Fans and the press were absolutely vicious; they said and printed things about Jaden that I refuse to repeat.

"Jaden had faithfully done everything that I'd instructed him to do, and I had coached him into the worst public mauling he'd ever experienced."

The Smith family at the After Earth premiere. Credit: PA
The Smith family at the After Earth premiere. Credit: PA
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He explained how despite never speaking about it directly with his dad, Will knew Jaden felt 'betrayed' and 'misled' by the ordeal.

Smith explained: "He lost his trust in my leadership."

The book continues: "At 15 years old, when Jaden asked about being an emancipated minor, my heart shattered. He ultimately decided against it, but it sucks to feel like you've hurt your kids."

Of course, the family is now strong once again - despite a number of incidents that have since become public - and Jaden is 23.

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Will and Jada Pinkett Smith also have a daughter, 21-year-old Willow, who has carved out a career for herself in music.

Will has another son with ex-wife Sheree Zampino, musician and actor Trey Smith.

Furthermore, in the book, Smith also opened up about how he fell in love with his co-star in 1993's Six Degrees of Separation, Stockard Channing.

At the time of filming, Will was still with Zampino.

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Donald Sutherland, Stockard Channing and Will Smith in Six Degrees of Separation. Credit: AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo
Donald Sutherland, Stockard Channing and Will Smith in Six Degrees of Separation. Credit: AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo

He explained: "Sheree and I were in the first few months of our marriage with a brand-new baby and for Sheree, I can imagine that this experience was unsettling to say the least.

"She'd married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier [his character in the film]. And to make matters worse, during shooting I fell in love with Stockard Channing."

After filming stopped, he said he found himself 'desperately yearning to see and speak to Stockard'.

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Smith and Zampino broke up in 1995, and Will eventually married Jada in 1997.

The pair have had a turbulent time - including revelations about their sex life becoming public as recently as last month - but have remained married for 24 years.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, US Entertainment, Will Smith

Tom Wood
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