In his highly anticipated appearance on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook show, Red Table Talk, T.I. says that his previous remarks about checking his daughter’s virginity were “embellished” and taken out context. The host and her guest dive right into the scandal T.I. jokingly refers to as “Hymen-gate” at the beginning of the 20-minute episode, where Smith lends T.I. a neutral platform to provide his explanation of events. Check out the full episode below.
T.I. caused a firestorm of debate about parenting practices and women’s agency when he “joked” that he gets his daughter’s hymen checked annually on a recent — now deleted — episode of women’s interest podcast, Ladies Like Us. Receiving a backlash from authorities like Planned Parenthood and celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, T.I. was criticized for promoting the idea that men “own” their daughters’ virtue and inadvertently supporting some pretty regressive cultural practices that have often resulted in women coming to harm.
“I think all of this surrounds a conversation that I was having in a very joking manner,” he explains. “When asked, ‘How do I deal with parenting in this day and age,’ I just began to — from a place of truth — embellish and exaggerate and I think a lot of people kinda took it extremely literal… I honestly thought that people knew me better than that.” He does say that while “my intentions have been terribly misconstrued,” he has learned from the experience, admitting that Deyjah, his daughter did have a problem with him talking about the appointment in question — which his wife Tiny clarifies took place at a regularly scheduled gynecologist appointment when Deyjah was 16.
T.I. says he just wants to be involved in his daughter’s life, but that he didn’t realize how private the discussion should be or how his joking comment would be received. Jada also spends some time explaining why those discussions might be better left to women, while T.I. does some work to defend his position — albeit imperfectly. Watch the full episode above.