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Will Smith says his “heart shattered” when his son Jaden asked to be an “emancipated minor” when he was 15.
The 53-year-old actor has admitted he felt as though he had “hurt” his son when he asked to be emancipated as a teenager, meaning he would have been freed from the control of his parents and been given the ability to legally make his own decisions.
Jaden, now 23, asked to be emancipated after he received “vicious” remarks online following the release of ‘After Earth’ – which he starred in with his dad – in 2013.
Writing in excerpts from his upcoming memoir ‘Will’ that were published by People magazine, Will said: “‘After Earth’ was an abysmal box office and critical failure.
“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 ‘Bad Boys’ star – who has Jaden with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, with whom he also has 21-year-old daughter Willow – never “discussed” the backlash with Jaden, but he knew the youngster had “lost trust” in his dad’s ability to lead.
Will added: “We never discussed it, but I know he felt betrayed. He felt misled, and he lost his trust in my leadership.
“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.”
The news comes after Will – who also has son Trey, 28, with his first wife Sheree Zampino – recently said he feels as though he’s “failed every woman” he’s interacted with.
Speaking in a teaser for his upcoming appearance on ‘The Oprah Conversation’, he said: “I want to tell the truth. I want to let people have it. I’ve carried, most of life, the sense of failing every woman I interact with. I haven’t talked about that publicly.”