Jada Pinkett Smith, her husband Will, and their two children Jaden and Willow make up one of Hollywood’s most iconic power families. At first glance, it may seem that they have it all. However, the pressure of the spotlight eventually takes its toll. According to People, Jada recently opened up about her reaction to her daughter Willow revealing that she had once dealt with self-harm.
In a candid interview on The Moms podcast, Jada shared details regarding how she came to find out about the painful repercussions fame had caused Willow. The 47-year-old actress and mother of two discussed the moment Willow revealed to her that she had been depressed to the point of self-harm following her hit single “Whip My Hair” in 2010.
“I focused more on how she got herself out versus what got her there,” she said. “I was most proud about that she could share it in the way she did, which let me know she had come through in a major way that she could put it on the table like that.”
Willow has been very open with her struggles with self harm and this particular dark period of her life. Only 10-years-old when “Whip My Hair” became a hit single, Willow felt immense pressure to follow up her first song with an album that was equally successful. While society wanted to label her as a singer, she wasn’t so sure that was her true calling in life. After all, it was only her first major project. She found herself being pushed to figure out who she was and wondered if she could find success following a different path. Creating an album was simply not in her plans.
“And I was like, I’m not gonna do that. And after all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull, I was just listening to a lot of dark music,” Willow said. “It was just so crazy and I was plunged into this black hole, and I was cutting myself.”
Although Willow didn’t confide in her parents at the time she was practicing self-harm, she did find comfort in telling a friend. Over time Willow was able to escape the dark hole she was trapped in and learned to live in the spotlight without losing herself in the process. Jada admits she had no idea that her daughter was suffering in this way but is grateful that she has been courageous enough to share her experience. Willow’s story shows that issues of depression and mental illness do not discriminate and can affect even those who seemingly have it all.