Janelle Monáe opens up to Jada Pinkett Smith about father’s drug addiction in new Red Table Talk clip

Talk show returns for a fifth season on Wednesday 20 April

Nicole Vassell
Wednesday 20 April 2022 17:04
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Jada Pinkett Smith returns to Red Table Talk for season five

Janelle Monáe has discussed the effect her father’s drug addiction had on her life in a new episode of Red Table Talk.

The musician features on the season five premiere of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch talk show – the series’ first outing since Will Smith and Chris Rock’s incident at the Oscars.

The “I Like That” singer recalled the early years of her career to co-hosts Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris.

“Thinking back to when I first started, I was like, man, as free as I was on stage, when I came off stage, I was still that scared little girl,” Monáe said. “Like I’m not good enough.”

Explaining that she was unsure whether she’d be loved by audiences, the singer attributed this anxiety to her parents’ estrangement and her father’s substance abuse.

“My parents were not together and I always thought it was me. Why am I not being taken care of by my dad?” she shared with the hosts.

“He had gotten on crack cocaine, and that changed his life. It changed our relationship.”

Janelle Monáe on Red Table Talk

Monáe clarified that they had since built a better connection, calling him her “best friend” and stating that he’s now sober. However, the effects of his struggle in the past had long-lasting effects.

She continued: “I was dealing with real rejection, abandonment issues. What if people leaving me was a direct correlation to my dad?

“And always feeling like, if I wasn’t perfect, would they leave me. I don’t want to feel the pain of anybody leaving me.

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“Does that make sense?” she asked, to which Pinkett Smith nods and responds: “It makes a lot of sense.”

Others set to feature in the season include the parents of Cheslie Kryst, the Miss USA star who died by suicide earlier this year, as well as Ayleen Charlotte, one of the victims of the “Tinder Swindler”.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.

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