Will Smith can recall the moment his “heart shattered” as a father.
In his upcoming memoir, “Will,” the “King Richard” actor gets candid about parenting and the struggles he’s faced with his family.
In an excerpt obtained by People, Smith recalls his youngest son, Jaden, facing media scrutiny after the pair’s 2013 film, “After Earth,” flopped at the box office.
“‘After Earth’ was an abysmal box office and critical failure,” Smith, 53, writes. “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.”
Smith says he believed Jaden felt “betrayed” afterward.
“He felt misled, and he lost his trust in my leadership,” Smith writes. He adds that Jaden asked about being emancipated as a minor at 15.
“At fifteen years old, when Jaden asked about being an emancipated minor, my heart shattered,” Smith writes, according to People. “He ultimately decided against it, but it sucks to feel like you’ve hurt your kids.”
Representatives for Will and Jaden Smith did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Smith shares Jaden, 23, and his daughter, Willow, 21, with Jada Pinkett Smith. He and his former wife, Sheree Zampino, also share a son, Trey Smith, 28.
Will and Jaden Smith have worked together on other projects, including the 2006 film “The Pursuit of Happyness.”