Will Smith said that Willow ‘tested’ him following the success of her single ‘Whip My Hair’

Willow said that her early fame was tough.

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Willow said that her early fame was tough.
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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

  • Willow Smith said she had to “forgive” her parents for how they behaved during her early fame.
  • Will Smith recently spoke out about a “mutiny” in his family around 2012.
  • He said Willow “tested” him.

Being a celebrity child comes with its undeniable perks, but the downsides are also inevitable, especially when you gain notoriety yourself.

When Willow Smith’s single “Whip My Hair” topped the charts, she gained some serious fame.

But years after his daughter shot to the charts following the release of her catchy single “Whip My Hair,” actor Will Smith is opening up about how Willow “really tested him” at an early age.

Smith, 50, revealed to Haute Living about experiencing a “mutiny” within his family in 2012, following comments that Willow made that she had to forgive her famous dad for how he reacted to her early fame.

“I secretly call the year of the mutiny. And 2012 was really the year that my family rejected the direction of my leadership,” he said.

Smith said he experienced a

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Smith said he experienced a “mutiny.”
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Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

He said that Wilow also really “tested” him during her “Whip My Hair” days.

“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.”

“She really tested me,” he said. “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.”

The Smith Family.

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The Smith Family.
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Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association

He likened his parenting style to that of his own father, an Air Force veteran.

“My father was in the military, and he ran the house like a military unit. We had to put hospital corners on our bed, my shoes lined up in the closet. He was in the Air Force, so he dealt with the family like a soldier.”

But he said that he eventually “lightened up” on them and learned to change up his parenting style.

Speaking on the most recent episode of mother Jada Pinkett Smith’s talk show “Red Table Talk,” Willow disclosed that her father was “so harsh” at the beginning of her career.

She said her dad was

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She said her dad was “so harsh.”
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Facebook/Red Table Talk

When prompted by her mom whether there was anyone in her life she’d had to forgive, Willow said: “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.” She continued, “It was like, a couple of years trying to regain trust for not feeling like I was listened to, or no one cared what I felt during that time.”

Will and Jada are parents to Willow and older son Jaden, 20. Will has another son Trey, 26, that he shares with first wife Sheree Zampino.

This isn’t the first time Willow revealed the pitfalls of her early fandom. On a previous episode of “Red Table Talk,” she divulged that she “totally lost my sanity for a moment” during and after the song’s popularity in 2010.

She said she didn't want to finish her album.

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She said she didn’t want to finish her album.
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Facebook/Red Table Talk

“After the tour and the promotion and all of that, they wanted me to finish my album,’ she confessed. “And I was like, I’m not gonna do that. And after all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull.”

“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,” she continued.

You can watch the entirety of “Red Table Talk” below.

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