Will Smith Defends Son Jaden After Bizarre Statements, Says 16-Year-Old ‘Not A Slave To Money’

Will Smith is defending his son, Jaden, after the 16-year-old’s series of bizarre and controversial statements online, saying the teen is aware of the attention he receives and still remains grounded.

Jaden Smith has garnered his own group of fans that includes more than four million followers on Twitter. But the platform has been a double-edged sword for Jaden, who has a large audience for his unfiltered thoughts, which often get him in trouble.

One of the biggest controversies came from a series of anti-education tweets Jaden wrote back in 2013, in which he said the world would be better off if everyone dropped out of school.

Jaden and his younger sister, Willow, turned more heads late last year in a New York Times interview with some bizarre statements.

When asked what they’ve been reading, Jaden answered, “The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life and ancient texts; things that can’t be pre-dated.”

But in a recent interview with Esquire magazine, Will Smith said Jaden understands the scrutiny that come with his words

“And Jaden understands that that’s a part of this business. If he wants to do it, there’s a certain amount of battery that you have to be willing to live through,” Smith added. “There’s a certain amount of suffering that you have to be willing to sustain if you want to have a good life. And the trick is to be able to sustain it with your heart open and still be loving. That is the real trick.”

Will added that Jaden is not a “slave to money,” saying the 16-year-old stays grounded.

“You never lose the mentality. It’s such a strange thing. Jaden, my 16-year-old, he has one pair of shoes… He has three pair of pants and he has five shirts,” he said. “He has refused to be a slave to money. I so respect that. The younger generation is less of an ownership generation, anyway… He’s like, ‘I’m not gonna let myself need things in that way’ — but I would like him to get another pair of shoes.”

But Will Smith did have at least one regret for Jaden — their 2013 movie, After Earth, which he called the “most painful failure of my career.”