Will Smith on forgiving his father, thoughts of suicide, and “King Richard”

Academy Award-nominee Will Smith talks with CBS News’ Gayle King about his childhood, thoughts of suicide, forgiving his father, his film “King Richard,” and more in a revealing, emotional interview  for “CBS Sunday Morning,” to be broadcast March 13 on CBS and streamed on Paramount+.

Smith, 53, is a global superstar who sells millions of albums and toplines blockbuster films. In his book, “Will,” Smith tells his life story, warts and all, including the impact on him of seeing his father beat his mother, when he was just 9 years old.

“And I didn’t do anything,” Smith said.

“But as a little boy, Will, what are you supposed to do?” King asked.

“The child mind doesn’t work like that,” he replied. “I expected to be a superhero.”

Click on the video player to watch a preview clip: 

Smith told King, co-host of “CBS Mornings,” that when his parents separated, he considered taking his own life.

“That was the, the only time in my life that I considered suicide,” he said. “And, you know … it just was, it was my fault. You know, I don’t know how kids do that … in their mind, but you know, it was, it was somehow my fault.”

Smith said he made peace with his father when his dad was dying in 2016. “And you know, in that, in those last moments with my father – when I was able to forgive my father – I had a shocking realization that I was able to forgive myself … my father dying started a new phase of my life,” Smith said.

He also says his suffering helped make him the man he is today: “I thank God for my suffering, you know? My suffering helped me to become who I am. My suffering helped me to build the life and the family and helped me to find the truth that I base my life on today.” 

In a wide-ranging interview, Smith also talked with King about his work on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”; his Oscar-nominated film, “King Richard”; his marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith; and what he’d like to do next.

The Emmy Award-winning “Sunday Morning” is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9 a.m. ET. “Sunday Morning” also streams on the CBS News app [beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET] and on Paramount+, and is available on cbs.com and cbsnews.com.

Be sure to follow us at cbssundaymorning.com, and on TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube and TikTok.

For more info:

  • “King Richard” now playing in theatres and available On Demand
  • “Will” by Will Smith with Mark Manson (Penguin), in Hardcover, Large Print Trade Paperback, Spanish Trade Paperback, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon and Indiebound
  • Follow Will Smith on Twitter and Instagram

Source : Cbs News