More than two weeks after rapper T.I. made shocking comments regarding his daughter’s reproductive health, the entertainer suffered major backlash as a result.
As Mamas Uncut previously reported, T.I. was a guest on a since-deleted episode of the Ladies Like Us podcast. During the podcast, the father told the hosts that he used to take his now 18-year-old daughter Deyjah Harris to her gynecology appointments.
T.I. Addresses Earlier Remarks About Taking His Daughter to the Gynecologist
At those appointments, he would make sure Deyjah signed a form that would allow the doctor to share any of his daughter’s medical information with him.
He said he did this so that the doctor would tell him if Deyjah’s hymen was still intact or not. He said on the podcast:
“Not only have we had the conversation — we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen. Yes, I go with her. […] So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor comes and talk, and the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism. He’s like, ‘You know, sir, I have to, in order to share information’ — I’m like, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want me to know? See, Doc? Ain’t no problem.’”
Now, T.I. is apologizing for his statements in an interview with Jada Pinkett-Smith on her Facebook show, Red Table Talk. T.I.’s wife and Deyjah’s stepmom, Tiny Harris, was also on the show. He called the media firestorm following his initial comments “hymengate.”
In an attempt to correct any misconceptions about his podcast interview, T.I. said his comments were made in a joking manner.
“From a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate. I think a lot of people took it extremely literal.” The rapper said he thought people knew him better than that given his reputation and who he is as a father.
Jada then asked T.I. if he understood the sensitivity of the situation. T.I. told Jada that he didn’t understand it at the time of his original comments, but understands it now.
“However, my intentions, I think, have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived.”
“Let me go set this record straight, [I] never said I was in any exam room, that is an assumption, that is a falsity. [I] never said it was being done present-day as an 18-year-old. …[I] never said that her mother wasn’t present.”
Both T.I. and Tiny said both he and Deyjah’s mom, Ms. Niko, always went to the gynecology appointments together. And that he was never the one to make the appointments.
T.I. went on to say that, at the time, Deyjah never had any objection to her father tagging along to the appointments but she did have a problem with him talking about it publicly. “And I understand that. I am incredibly apologetic — to her — for that. Not to any of these other strangers and any of these weirdos who toss lies around for fun.”
T.I. continued by saying that his daughter “understands my intentions and she knows who I am. She knows who I’ve always been.” He added that all the outside noise made everything more confusing for his daughter, who was already embarrassed.
Now, the protective father said he took the Red Table Talk interview with Deyjah’s permission, who initially told him to not say anything more when the backlash originally started.
But as the topic got deeper, T.I. started asking the questions. “I want to know, what is the purpose and place of a father in this society. Because a father like myself, who wants to be involved and attentive as me, we could draw the conclusion that we just donate sperm and pay for things and don’t really have a say.”
However, Jada, Tiny, and Jada’s mother—who was also sitting at the table—disagreed. Jada said:
“I don’t think anyone has a problem with you protecting your daughter. That’s not the issue. It’s the hymen part. And having been a young girl myself, having raised several young women, and realizing that a woman’s journey, in regards to her sexuality, has to be guided, right, mostly I think by mothers. That’s just me personally. But mother, in truly understanding what that journey is, takes her daughter’s hand and walks her through.”
She continued, “That’s how I worked that out with Will. There’s certain things about raising a man that I can’t know. I would tell him, ‘Love your daughter. Let me teach her.'”
Jada added that there is a difference between guiding and teaching, and control. However, T.I. comeback by saying, you need to have some level of control on someone in order to guide and teach that person.
“I’m not there to protect necessarily ‘virginity,’ I just know that is a big move. Once you make that move, there are things that happen that that follow. You have to be equipped. I don’t know if you’re equipped. …Awareness is my first line of defense.”
T.I. said his main goal in raising all of his children was to instill “morals, standards, principals, and greatness” in them and make sure they knew how to “unlock” to attributes for when they are adults and on their own.
You can watch T.I.’s full Red Table Talk interview below:
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