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Kevin Hart joined Will Smith for a special Father’s Day edition of Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch Sunday where he reflected on the impacts his cheating scandal with his wife and the controversy that led him to step down from being the Oscars host had on his children.
In a candid 45-minute conversation, Hart candidly opened up about his relationship with his father, his first divorce and how he addressed being at the center of scandals with his children including teens Heaven and Hendrix shared with ex-wife Torrei and Kenzo and Kaori with his wife Eniko Parrish.
“I stepped in some shit, yeah,” Hart says when Smith asked him how he addresses public scandals with his family. “You’re never prepared for that side of it. I can say having a little girl in my life, it’s tough. You don’t realize the impact that your mistakes could truly have.” He went on to say that it’s a “different emotion” when kids are involved.
“Through my public debacles, I got on some armor. It’s very hard to shoot through this… it’s very hard to bother me,” Hart says. “But when your child shows disappointment, shows emotion, shows ‘I don’t understand why?’ and you got to have those conversations, well now head drops for the first time.” He said that his kids pulled “a different emotional cord” on him, in particular, his daughter after Hart’s admission of cheating on his wife Eniko Parrish.
“My talk with Heaven… that was one like no other,” Hart tells Smith. “Getting my daughter back, getting my daughter to understand that I was sorry, that I made a mistake… My daughter was tough on me. Until this day, my daughter is tough on me,” he said of his 16-year-old daughter. “My daughter don’t play no games with her father.”
Speaking on his experiences, Smith shared that he and wife Jada Pinkett Smith tell their kids everything to “get out ahead of it.” “The kids know before the world knows,” Smith said. But Hart noted that he, unfortunately, has “never been able to get to the kids first.”
In addition to the cheating scandal, Hart received backlash after old tweets surfaced in which Hart expressed anti-gay sentiments and used homophobic terminology and slurs. As a result, Hart eventually stepped down as Oscars host.
“When the whole thing started to happen with the LGBTQ+ community and the misconception of me, what I was and what I am and what I feel, my daughter was so upset because she couldn’t process how people could think this about her father,” Hart said. “It was so tough because this was when I started to realize how my fame has an impact on my household. There is a certain level of obliviousness.”
He continued to admit that his daughter also “checked” him and had a conversation with him about being mindful of the things he says in public. “Now I can honestly say the relationships have improved because I’m now aware of the shit that I could’ve done to bring havoc or bring problem,” he said. He also said despite a lot of people wanting “this seat,” they don’t realize “what comes with this seat.” “The things you say and you gotta be aware… that to me is the hardest shit in the world because you’re starting to realize the lives that are affected by the way that you move.”
As he moves forward, Hart acknowledged that at 41-years-old, he’s “getting older” and “more mature” and has learned the importance of listening: “I was a late bloomer to the listening side of it. I was a talk to say what I want to say… I wish that I would’ve arrived at this space in my earlier years and I just want to be able to handle a lot of situations differently.
Throughout their conversation, Smith and Hart also discussed the values of fatherhood, their own upbringings with their fathers, fathering styles and navigating their daughters’ dating. Despite having a vulnerable conversation, Hart’s appearance on Red Table Talk began with a comical moment as Smith and Jada Pinkett making fun of the comedian for being an hour late to the taping.
Smith and Hart’s full Red Table Talk episode is available to stream on Facebook Watch.
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