Will Smith has revealed that he paid his father’s child support bill to cover money that was meant to contribute towards his upbringing.
In his new memoir, Will, the Independence Day actor details his parents’ separation and eventual divorce. When the divorce was finalised, Smith’s father was served with a $140,000 (£103,000) bill for backdated child support.
By the time their divorce was finalised, Smith was already an adult and a successful actor and rapper and explained why he paid the sum that his father couldn’t afford: “Daddio didn’t have $140,000 (£103,000), and Mom-Mom was unwilling to make any concession whatsoever. And there was no version of me letting my father go to jail.”
Smith says he and his father came to “an underhanded, Ponzi-style backdoor deal” to pay off the debt that was owed to his mother.
The Bad Boys star then jokes he became “the first person in the history of Pennsylvania to pay his own child support”.
Smith also revealed that his mother later found out about their agreement and was “p*****” and paid her son back.
Elsewhere in the memoir, Smith confessed to the time he first thought about suicide – after his mother left the family home following years of abuse from his father.
He also explained that he fantasised about killing his father as a result of the abuse and considered himself a “coward” for not being able to stop it.
Will is out now via Penguin RandomHouse.
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