Entertainment Movies Will Smith Gets Candid About His Biggest Regrets as a Dad: 'My Heart Shattered' Will Smith's powerful memoir Will is exclusively excerpted in this week's issue of PEOPLE By Janine Rubenstein Janine Rubenstein Instagram Twitter Janine Rubenstein is Editor-at-Large at PEOPLE and host of PEOPLE Every Day podcast, a daily dose of breaking news, pop culture and heartwarming human interest stories. Formerly Senior Editor of music content, she's also covered crime, human interest and television news throughout her many years with the brand. Prior to PEOPLE she's written for Essence, The Cape Times newspaper and Los Angeles Magazine among others. On-screen Rubenstein can be found featured on shows like Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight and she routinely hosts PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly's star-studded Red Carpet Live specials. Follow the San Francisco native, Black Barbie collector and proud mom of two on Instagram and Twitter @janinerube People Editorial Guidelines and Sam Gillette Sam Gillette Sam Gillette is a books Writer/Reporter for People.com and People Magazine. She has been with the brand for six years, covering everything from celebrity memoirs to explosive White House tell-alls. Before she joined the PEOPLE team, Sam graduated with her Masters in Journalism from New York University. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 3, 2021 11:58 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Will Smith with his family. Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage Will Smith wants to share the man — and the father — behind his celebrity persona in his candid new memoir, Will. In this week's issue, PEOPLE has an exclusive excerpt from the book, out Nov. 9, that details some of the actor's hardest moments as a dad. Smith, 53, writes that he was devastated for his son Jaden, then 15, when their 2013 film After Earth was attacked by the press. "After Earth was an abysmal box office and critical failure," the actor and singer 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." For more on Will Smith's memoir and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day. Smith was heartbroken when Jaden later asked about being emancipated. "We never discussed it, but I know he felt betrayed. He felt misled, and he lost his trust in my leadership," Smith continues. "At fifteen 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 star details some of his biggest joys and regrets as a dad to Jaden, now 23, daughter Willow, 21, and son Trey, 29, in Will. It's an unflinching look at his turbulent childhood, his first marriage to Trey's mom Sheree Zampino, 53, and his more than two-decade romance with his wife and the mother of his younger children, Jada Pinkett Smith, 50. In Will, Smith writes that he learned another hard parenting lesson after Willow released her hit song "Whip My Hair" in 2010. She secured a month-long tour opening for Justin Bieber, but began to have second thoughts. Will Smith Says He 'Fell in Love' with Costar Stockard Channing During His First Marriage The Smith family. David Livingston/Getty Images On the final night of her European tour, Willow told her dad she wanted to stop. He explained that she had upcoming tour dates in Australia and must continue. Willow decided to take drastic measures. "Willow came skipping into the kitchen for breakfast. 'Good morning, Daddy,' Willow said joyfully, as she bounced to the refrigerator," Smith writes in Will. "My jaw nearly dislocated, dislodged, and shattered on the kitchen floor: My world-dominating, hair-whipping, future global superstar was totally bald. During the night, Willow had shaved her entire head. RELATED VIDEO: Will Smith Shows Off Weight Loss Progress as He Works to Get in the 'Best Shape of My Life' "My mind raced and scrambled — how was she going to whip her hair if she didn't have any? Who the hell wants to pay to watch some kid whip their head back and forth?" he continues. "But before I could respond, I felt something slowly turning, shifting, until it clicked into place: In a moment of divine connection and revelation, she had reached me. I leaned down, peered deeply into her eyes, and said, 'I got it. I am so sorry. I see you.' " Will hits bookstores on Nov. 9.