Will Smith got emotional while talking about becoming a father and learning "the real weight of parenting"

By Claudia Harmata
June 21, 2020 06:00 PM
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Will Smith On the 'Ultimate Failure' of His Divorce in Father's Day Episode of Red Table Talk
Will Smith in Red Table Talk
| Credit: Facebook Watch

Will Smith is reminiscing on his time as a father to his three children.

During the Father's Day episode of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk, the actor sat down with her for a one-on-one conversation to talk about fatherhood and the "the real weight of parenting."

Smith, who shares son Jaden, 21, and daughter Willow, 19, with Pinkett Smith, first became a parent with to 27-year-old son Trey, whom he shares with ex-wife Sheree Fletcher.

The Bad Boys star, 51, married Fletcher at 24 years old and welcomed their son together not too long after that. “I brought him home, we put him in the bassinet, it was like stark terror," Smith recalled. “I’m totally responsible for this life. I couldn’t stop going and checking. I just cried so hard. It makes me teary right now."

When asked by his wife about why he cried, Smith said, "I can’t do it. I’m not the guy. Oh man, I just knew I didn’t know nothing," as he wiped away tears from his eyes. "Oh man, I’m going to need to get myself together. I’m going to have to walk this one off… I need a tissue. See I thought the red couch wouldn’t get me like this. The red table always gets you like this."

The father of three added, "It hit me how fragile parenting is. In that moment, I could see all the spectacular lessons my father had instilled in me, and I was like, there’s no way. I’m not that good.”

RELATED: Will Smith Says His Divorce from Sheree Fletcher Was 'the Worst Thing in My Adult Life'

Smith also went on to discuss his divorce from Fletcher when Trey was just 2 years old, saying that "divorce was the worst thing in my adult life."

"Divorce was the ultimate failure for me,” he said. “I’ve been hurt a lot in my adult life, but I don’t think anything touches the failure of getting divorced from my 2-year-old son’s mother. Sheree and I ran into that — if a man’s not a great husband, then he loses his parental rights."

"I’m a way better father than I am a husband" he continued. "In that process, you start fighting for your rights, and the kid is in the middle."

Smith also touched on his own relationship with his father, Willard Carroll Smith, Sr. "Because of my own experience of seeing Daddy-O punch my mother, I knew my kids would never see me do anything violent toward their mother,” he said.

However, divorce made his relationship with both Fletcher and their son Trey more complicated. "But in the first couple years of Trey’s life, because Sheree and I were divorced, I think my desire to never have my son see me in that way made me more absent as a father," he explained. "I wanted to create enough distance. We not gonna be cursing, fighting."

Ultimately, the father-son pair was able to reconnect, with Smith recalling that "as soon as Trey was ready, he came looking for his father."

In 2018, Smith opened up about his relationship with Trey in a post on social media, telling his fans that they "struggled for years."

"It has not always been like this between Trey & I. We STRUGGLED FOR YEARS after my Divorce from his Mother. He felt betrayed & abandoned," Smith explained, alongside a sweet video that showed some of their cherished moments together. "It is a Wild Blessing to recover & restore a Loving Relationship with My Beautiful Son!"

Fletcher had appeared in the debut episode of Red Table Talk in May 2018 when she and Pinkett Smith discussed how they developed a good relationship despite initial struggles.

Pinkett Smith admitted things got so heated between the pair that her husband had to step in. "Will Smith let me have it," said Pinkett Smith. "His take was, 'That is Trey’s mother and that’s just not your place.'"

And it seems his words really sunk in. Fletcher said the next time the women saw each other, they made an effort to mend their relationship. "You would always say, 'Re, I apologize,' " said Fletcher. "You always owned it. Thank you for that."