Will Smith’s new memoir comes with at least one shocking revelation by the actor: he writes that he contemplated on murdering his late father.
In Will, which is set to release next Tuesday (Nov. 9), the actor wrote about his troubled childhood and estranged relationship with his father growing up. Although his father supported him throughout his career, he was violent towards his then-wife, Will’s mother Caroline. Will recounted a traumatic childhood memory that made him want to seek vengeance out on his father.
“When I was nine years old, I watched my father punch my mother in the side of the head so hard that she collapsed,” Will said in the book, according to People. “I saw her spit blood. That moment in that bedroom, probably more than any other moment in my life, has defined who I am. Within everything that I have done since then-the awards and accolades, the spotlights and attention, the characters and the laughs-there has been a subtle string of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day. For failing her in the moment. For failing to stand up to my father. For being a coward.”
Later in life, Will revealed that his dad was diagnosed with cancer and needed a wheelchair to get around. He recounted a memory of wheeling his father to the bathroom when the thought once again crept into his head.
“One night, as I delicately wheeled him from his bedroom toward the bathroom, a darkness arose within me,” the actor wrote in his memoir. “As a child I’d always told myself that I would one day avenge my mother. That when I was big enough, when I was strong enough, when I was no longer a coward, I would slay him.”
He continued, “I paused at the top of the stairs. I could shove him down, and easily get away with it. I’m Will Smith. No one would ever believe I killed my father on purpose. I’m one of the best actors in the world. My 911 call would be Academy Award level. As the decades of pain, anger, and resentment coursed then receded, I shook my head and proceeded to wheel Daddio to the bathroom. Thank God we’re judged by our actions, not by our trauma-driven, inner outbursts.”
Will’s father later died in 2016 from his battle with cancer.
In a Father’s Day episode of the Red Table Talk hosted by his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, daughter Willow Smith and mother-in-law Adrienne Banfield-Norris, the actor reflected on his relationship with his father.
“There’s such beautiful qualities that he instilled that are a big part of what made me, me,” the actor continued per E!. “And as the Yin to every Yang, I watched him beat up my mother. So the biggest emotional scar that I have in this lifetime, he delivered that also. He showed me a lot of things that I wanted to do, but he also showed me the things I would absolutely, positively never do to my children.”