Will Smith hit rock bottom and lost it all before Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Will Smith opens up about losing "everything" and hitting "rock bottom" after he went to jail before finding fame on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
In a preview of Apple TV+'s The Oprah Conversation: Will Smith, the actor discusses the time his house and cars were seized.
Oprah Winfrey opened the interview by noting that Will said he "basically lost everything" in his new memoir.
The 67-year-old asked Will: "So right before Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I think people would be surprised to know, this is the first time, I realized…you basically lost everything.
"The government seized your cars, it took your home, you ended up in jail.
“You describe it in two words actually, 'rock bottom.'
“What was at the root of that downfall, Will? And the life lesson you took from it?"
The actor sat down with the legendary star to discuss his new memoir which comes out next week, November 9.
Will responded to Oprah's question, he said: "When it rains, it pours.
“So getting into the fight at the radio station, Charlie punching the dude that landed me in jail, so the money is gone, the car is gone.
“I am laying on the floor in a jail cell and I am like, 'You've got to be kidding me!'"
Will continued: "I won a Grammy eight months ago. Like, what is happening?
"And it's just the spiral when it starts going the other way.
“It's like, sometimes you just have to get out the way and wait until the downward spiral stops."
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Noting that Will was responsible for his spiral, Oprah said: "You see how the energy of yourself, everything you were doing, created that exact moment.”
In his new book, Will has shared several candid stories and explains the complicated relationship he had with his father, William Carroll Smith Sr.
Will has three siblings and was brought up by his father and mother, Caroline Bright in Philadelphia.
The Men in Black star revealed: "My father was violent, but he was also at every game, play, and recital. He was an alcoholic, but he was sober at every premiere of every one of my movies.
"He listened to every record. He visited every studio. The same intense perfectionism that terrorized his family put food on the table every night of my life."
Will then details an act of violence by his father, he penned: "When I was nine years old, I watched my father punch my mother in the side of the head so hard that she collapsed. I saw her spit blood.
“That moment in that bedroom, probably more than any other moment in my life, has defined who I am."
Will's parents divorced in 2000 after parting ways when the actor was a teen.
The Fresh Prince star explained how witnessing that moment impacted his life, he said: “Within everything that I have done since then — the awards and accolades, the spotlights and attention, the characters and the laughs — there has been a subtle string of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day.
“For failing her in the moment. For failing to stand up to my father. For being a coward."
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