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‘She Checked Me’: Kevin Hart and Will Smith Speak Candidly About Their Parenting Mistakes, Life Lessons and Mending the Relationships with Their Ex-Wives

Comedian Kevin Hart recently joined actor Will Smith for a special Father’s Day edition of “Red Table Talk,” where the pair discussed the beauties and the struggles of fatherhood and ex-wives. The funnyman also revealed how he explained some of his scandals to his kids and how his most prominent critic, perhaps maybe his teenage daughter, who he said “checked him” over comments he made publicly regarding her mother.

Hart, who in recent weeks have found himself on the wrong side of headlines after denouncing “cancel culture,” detailed his co-parenting journey with his ex-wife Torrei Hart. The pair share two children, 16-year-old daughter Heaven and 13-year-old son Hendrix Hart. 

The 52-year-old spoke candidly on the effect his daughter has had on his life, stating, “having a little girl in my life is tough.” He continued, “You don’t realize the impact that your mistakes can truly have. When the kids get involved, it’s a different feeling. It’s a different opinion. It’s a different emotion, and through my public debacles, I got on some armor, dude.”

The “Fatherhood” star explained that his controversies, including allegations that he cheated on Torrei and the time he admitted to being unfaithful to his current wife and mother of his two youngest children, Eniko Parrish,  forced him to grow tough skin. 

“It’s very hard to bother me. I’m telling you, Will, 1000 percent it’s so hard to bother me,” he expressed. “When your child shows disappointment, shows emotion, shows ‘I don’t understand why,’ and you have to have those conversations … head drops for the first time. And now you’ve realized there’s a different emotional cord that could be pulled on you that nobody else has the privilege of ever touching. And my daughter touched on that.”

Hart said repairing his relationship with Heaven was tough. “I had to really understand my daughter’s side. My daughter had a talk with me about her mother,” he began. Hart said he was “rocked” by the situation. “She checked me,” he yelled. “She said, ‘I want you to stop saying, because when you say these things, Dad … this and this and this.’” Hart stopped short of sharing the details about the incidents his daughter called him on.

The actor said he tried to explain to his daughter that he didn’t always mean to be malicious with the comments he made about his ex-wife, but his daughter pushed back, telling him that it didn’t matter if those feelings were not genuine. Hart said he learned that “being himself” doesn’t always translate positively in the public eye as far his daughter is concerned.

Smith shared his own lessons he learned from his first wife, Sheree Zampino. They were married from 1992 to 1995, and the couple welcomed a son Trey Smith in 1992. “The one thing that Sheree always said was that I had to be careful how I talked about our marriage and our divorce,” Smith revealed. “And I didn’t realize, and it really took me years to comprehend, she was like, ‘Whatever you say, the world is going to punish me for that. So, you are giving people permission to say and do things to me on the street.’” Hart agreed to admit that it took him a while to understand that concept as well. 

On Wednesday, June 16, Hart spoke to Romper about approaching his kids with past controversies, saying, “You have to talk to your kids about it, because it’s going to come out. Some of them are cool about it, and some of them are not, depending on the situation.” 

The Will Smith “Red Table Talk” episode with Kevin Hart airs Sunday on Facebook Watch at 12 p.m. Eastern Time.

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