T.I. Speaks Out for the First Time Since Making Controversial Comments About His Daughter’s Virginity: ‘I’m Incredibly Apologetic to Her’

Jada Pinkett Smith, Gammy, T.I. and Tiny
T.I. with daughter Deyjah at the 2014 Tony Awards Sara Jaye Weiss/StartraksPhoto.com

Father knows best? T.I. is setting the record straight after making controversial comments about his 18-year-old daughter’s virginity.

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“I came to clear up any misconceptions that have been surrounding how we interact and parent, what is appropriate and inappropriate,” he started off his interview with Jada Pinkett Smith during his Red Table Talk interview on Monday, November 25. “I think all of this surrounds a conversation that I was having in a very joking manner, when asked how do I deal with parenting in this day and age. And so, I just began to, you know, from a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate.”

Following an interview with the “Ladies Like Us With Nazanin and Nadia” podcast on November 5, Clifford “T.I.” Harris Jr., 39, was in hot water with his daughter Deyjah Harris — and much of social media — due to comments he made about going to the doctor with her to make sure “her hymen is still intact.”

Rapper T.I. and His Wife Tiny Set The Record Straight

Rapper and actor T.I. comes to the Table with his wife Tiny to address the controversy around him taking his daughter to the gynecologist to ensure she’s still a virgin. Part 1 of a special 2-part Red Table Talk.

Posted by Red Table Talk on Sunday, November 24, 2019

Now, he’s admitted that his words were taken to the extremes and he has worked on what is appropriate to talk about and what’s not. “I think that a lot of people kind of like took it extremely literal, because if you put any of my reputation about, like, who I am as a father, who I’ve been, I honestly thought people knew me better than that,” he said on Red Table Talk.

The rapper admitted that he did not understand the sensitivity of the topic of his daughter’s virginity and sexuality at the time. After the interview blew up, he revealed that he now “absolutely” understands it now.

“My intentions, I think, have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived,” the three-time Grammy winner said. “Let me go set this record straight, I never said I was in any exam room, that is an assumption, that is a falsity. I never said that it was being done present day as an 18-year-old, and I never said that her mother wasn’t present. Her mom was present every time.”

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The father of six added: “All of these things, this false narrative, has been sensationalized.”

When all is said and done, T.I. is in a good place with his daughter and that’s all that matters to him.

“I’m incredibly apologetic to her for that. To her, to you, sweet baby Deyjah,” he said noting that his daughter had a problem with him talking about this part of her life in public. “She understands my intentions, she knows who I am. She knows who I’ve always been, and I think that allows a certain level of understanding.”

T.I. talks daughter virginity comments
Jada Pinkett Smith, Gammy, T.I. and Tiny Courtesy of Michael Becker

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The controversy began when T.I. admitted that every year after her birthday, he makes a gynecology appointment. “[When the doctors] say, ‘Well, I just want you to know that there are other ways besides sex that the hymen can be broken, like bike riding, athletics, horseback riding, and just other forms of athletic physical activity,’ I say, ‘Look doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Just check the hymen please and give me back my results expeditiously,’” he said on the November 5 podcast.

He further fueled the fire by noting his expectations are different for his sons than they are for his daughters. “I definitely feel different about a boy than about a girl,” he said. “That’s just the God’s honest truth. I don’t think there’s any father out there who’ll tell you any different.”

His comments caused public outcry and eventually led to the podcast hosts Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Mohan to delete the episode and issue an apology. “To everyone confused, angry and hurt by the recent episode of ‘Ladies Like Us,’ we want to apologize for our knee jerk reaction to the uncomfortable topic,” they wrote in a joint statement. “We were completely caught off guard/shocked and looking back, we should have reacted much differently in the moment. The comments that were made and the reaction that followed are not in any way a reflection of our personal views on the topic.”

For her part, Deyjah, unfollowed her father on Instagram, as well as his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris and Tiny’s daughter Zonnique, according to Hollywood Unlocked.

T.I. also has sons Messiah, 19, and Domani, 18, with ex Lashon Dixon, in addition to sons King, 15, and Major, 11, and daughter Heiress, 3, with Tiny.

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