Will Smith Opens Up About The Moment His 15-Year-Old Son Asked to Be Emancipated From Him and Jada

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About eight years ago, Will Smith’s son, Jaden, had asked to be emancipated from him and mother Jada Pinkett Smith, and only recently did Will open up about it, explaining how hurt he was in the situation.

The decision for Will to ask to be legally separated from his parents was after the debut of the 2013 movie After Earth. Will and Jaden costarred in the film when Jaden was just 15 years old, and Jada co-produced the film.

However, the film didn’t do so well. In fact, it did pretty horribly, and affected everyone involved, only pulling in about $60 million after a $130 million budget and scoring a super low rating of 11% on Rotten Tomatoes.

On top of ratings, there was much criticism surrounding the film and acting. In fact, Will had later referred to the movie as the “most painful failure in [his] career” in a 2015 interview with Esquire magazine. The film was so bad, Jaden wanted to not be legally associated with his parents ever again. That’s PRETTY bad.

Recently, he reflected on the whole thing once again in his memoir that’s due to hit shelves soon. In an excerpt obtained by People, Will wrote:

“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.”

Will went on to talk about how he truly felt in the moment when his son asked to be emancipated from him—which was heartbroken.

“At 15 years old, when Jaden asked about being an emancipated minor, my heart shattered,” Will wrote. “He ultimately decided against it, but it sucks to feel like you’ve hurt your kids.”

The reason Jaden felt so hurt was because he lost all trust in his dad. After the movie’s bad reviews, he felt like he couldn’t trust Will ever again.

“We never discussed it, but I know he felt betrayed,” Will writes. “He felt misled, and he lost his trust in my leadership.”

Jada also felt awful about Jaden wanting to leave. She opened up about the incident back in 2018 on an episode of Red Table Talk. “I remember this day specifically, it’s probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life,” Jada had said. “You got to a point where you told me straight up, you were like, ‘Mom, I have to leave here to live my life.’”

How would you feel if your child told you they wanted to be legally separated from you?