Jaden Smith

Will Smith’s ‘heart shattered’ when his son Jaden Smith asked about becoming an emancipated minor at 15

In his 2021 memoir entitled “Will,” actor Will Smith opened up about his experiences as a parent and the challenges he has encountered within his family. In a candid excerpt obtained by People, Smith shares a heart-wrenching moment where he felt his “heart shattered” as a father.

The incident involved his youngest son, Jaden Smith, who faced intense media scrutiny following the commercial failure of their joint 2013 film, “After Earth.” Smith’s upcoming memoir promises to delve into his personal life with raw honesty and vulnerability.

“‘After Earth’ was an abysmal box office and critical failure,” Smith, 53, 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.”

Will Smith (R) and son Jaden attend the premiere of "After Earth" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on May 29, 2013
Will Smith (R) and son Jaden attend the premiere of “After Earth” at the Ziegfeld Theatre on May 29, 2013 | Shutterstock

Will Smith felt strongly that Jaden had at the time felt betrayed

“We never discussed it, but I know he felt betrayed. He felt misled, and he lost his trust in my leadership,” Smith said. He adds that Jaden asked about being emancipated as a minor at 15. “At fifteen years old, when Jaden asked about being an emancipated minor, my heart shattered,” Smith writes, according to People. “He ultimately decided against it, but it sucks to feel like you’ve hurt your kids.”

Read: Jada Pinkett Smith writing memoir about life, ‘complicated marriage to Will Smith’

Not only affecting Jaden, but Will Smith also talks about his daughter Willow in his upcoming memoir

In his memoir, Will Smith shares the lessons he learned while navigating his daughter Willow’s career. She is now 22 years old. He writes about a pivotal moment in Willow’s career following the success of her hit song “Whip My Hair” in 2010. At the age of 10, Willow signed up for a month-long tour as the opening act for Justin Bieber. However, she soon realized that the tour was not what she wanted. She then expressed her desire to stop at the end of the European leg of the trip to her father.

There has been no response from representatives of Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith. Will Smith shares two children, Jaden (23) and Willow (21), with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Additionally, he has a son named Trey Smith (28) with his former spouse, Sheree Zampino.

Rebelling against societal expectations, Willow gave her father a loud awakening

Will Smith’s memoir recounts a story of his daughter Willow’s rebellion during a tour. According to Smith, he reminded her about her upcoming tour dates in Australia. But she still expressed her desire to stop touring. The situation took a dramatic turn when Willow shaved her entire head overnight.

Willow made a bold statement, surprising her father when she bounced into the kitchen the next morning for breakfast. Smith describes his astonishment, saying that his “world-dominating, hair-whipping, future global superstar” had gone completely bald. Leaving his jaw dropping to the floor.

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? 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.”‘ 

Future plans for the Smiths?

Father and son duo Will and Jaden Smith collaborated on several projects, including the 2006 movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.” In his memoir, Will Smith provides an intimate glimpse into his life, including his relationships with all three of his children: Trey (29), Jaden (23), and Willow (21).

Smith candidly shares the highs and lows of his marriages with Sheree Zampino, with whom he shares Trey, and Jada Pinkett Smith, the actress, and mother of Jaden and Willow. The memoir promises to provide readers with a detailed and honest account of Smith’s personal life, including his experiences as a father and partner.

Keep Reading: The Unusual Love Story of Will Smith and Jada Who Celebrate 25 Years Together


  1. Will Smith says his ‘heart shattered’ when his son Jaden Smith asked about becoming an emancipated minor at 15.” Insider. Lauren Edmonds. November 6, 2021
  2. “Will Smith Gets Candid About His Biggest Regrets as a Dad: ‘My Heart Shattered'” People.
  3. Will Smith says his ‘heart shattered’ when son Jaden asked to be emancipated at age 15 over their ‘critical failure’ film After Earth: ‘He lost his trust in my leadership’.” DailyMail UK. Mark Mcgreal. November 6, 2021