Earlier this month, T.I. earned himself a “#1 Dad that will publicly embarrass his daughter and cause podcast listeners to squirm uncomfortably in their seats” mug (it’s a big mug). During an appearance on the Ladies Like Us podcast, he discussed the lengths he goes to ensure that his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah Harris remains a virgin, which included being present in a gynecologist’s office during a hymen check. It was a mess, and the internet had a whole lot to say about it.
T.I. and his wife Tiny Harris recently decided to discuss the situation with Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk, and what do you know? He was just joking, everyone!
As a reminder, here’s what T.I. had to say on the podcast, the episode of which has since been deleted.
“Not only have we had the conversation. We have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen. Yes, I go with her…So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor comes and talk, and the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism. He’s like, ‘You know, sir, I have to, in order to share information’ – I’m like, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this so we can share information…So I say, ‘Look, Doc…just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously.’ I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”
T.I.’s interview was posted today online, and he says his motivation to appear at the table was to “clear up any misconceptions” regarding his and Tiny’s parenting. T.I. says the conversation that happened on the Ladies Like Us podcast was one he was having “in a very joking manner.” He claims that it came from a place of truth, but that he embellished and exaggerated his story. But most importantly – that it’s the media’s fault for twisting his words and taking it “extremely literal.”
“I honestly thought people knew me better than that…I understand [the sensitivity] now, however my intentions, I think, have been terribly misconstrued, and misconceived.
Let me set this record straight. Never said I was in any exam room – that was an assumption, that is a falsity. I never said it was done being present-day. I never said that her mother wasn’t present. All of this false narrative has just been sensationalized…there was never any objection [from Deyjah]. She did have a problem with me talking about it, and I am incredibly apologetic.”
He added that his apology was only meant for “sweet baby Deyjah,” and not any of the strangers or “weirdos” who heard his story and felt grossed out. Tiny – who is not Deyjah’s mother – chimed in, saying the exams took place when she was 15 and 16, and that “most fathers don’t go,” but that T.I. was being present as a father.
Jada explained to T.I. that a woman’s journey in regards to her sexuality is a very private thing, and that she believes it’s a mother’s job to teach her daughter. She also said that there’s a difference between being protective and being controlling. I’m kind of surprised that T.I. didn’t jump in with, “But I already said it was the doctor that was controlling the exam, I was just in the waiting room – remember what I said about that?”
But back to T.I.’s claim that he was joking around. if you go back and re-read what he said, I think we can all agree that there’s an awful lot of specifics there. Yearly visits. Speaking directly with the doctor. Asking to sign consent and release forms. That the visits happen the day after Deyjah’s birthday, and that the most recent visit happened after her 18th birthday this year. Does T.I. understand what joking is? Joking would be saying that he is so scared to hear that his adult daughter is sexually active, that he considered having his ears removed. Joking that you showed up at an 18-year-old’s gyno appointment when it was really a 16-year-old isn’t much of a punchline. T.I. probably shouldn’t be booking any time at the Comedy Cellar any time soon. Although to be fair, Louis C.K. would probably appreciate there being another comedian out there who gives the audience instant dry heaves.
Pic: Red Table Talk