T.I. says he was joking when he made the bizarre statement earlier this month that he goes to the gynecologist with his daughter every year to make sure her hymen is “still intact.”
“I began to embellish and exaggerate, and I think a lot of people kind of took it extremely literal,” the rapper, whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., told Jada Pinkett Smith on Monday’s episode of “Red Table Talk.”
Harris, 39, explained that he also apologized to his daughter, Deyjah, for his controversial comments.
“She did have a problem with me talking about it, however, and I understand that, and I am incredibly apologetic to her for that,” he said. “She understands my intentions and she knows who I am, who I’ve always been.”
As for why he is now choosing to address the situation publicly, Harris said that his daughter initially told him to not say anything, according to People magazine.
“My daughter said just let it go, don’t say nothing, just let it go and I did — until l I had different directives,” he shared. “I would not be here today had I not had those different directives. I’d still be sitting in silence.”
Elsewhere in the sit-down discussion, Harris stated that his past remarks weren’t about control.
T.I. speaks onstage during Netflix Presents Rhythm Flow Atlanta screening at Clark Atlanta University on October 08, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Netflix/Allied Integrated Marketing)
“I am here to protect all of the children from themselves until they make it to a point where they have awareness, a sense of self and discernment to be able to make certain decisions on their own that will impact their lives indefinitely,” he said, according to People. “I’m not there to protect necessarily virginity, I just know that is a big move.”
Replied Pinkett Smith, 48: “That’s different — that’s education.”
During a Nov. 6 interview on the “Ladies Like Us” podcast, Harris declared of his daughter: “I will say as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”
“Deyjah’s 18, just graduated high school now and she’s attending her first year of college, figuring it out for herself,” he continued. “And yes, not only have we had the conversation [about sex], we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen.”
Harris received backlash when the comments went viral, with Planned Parenthood and many others blasting the artist.
On Monday, T.I. further explained that he went to the gynecologist with his daughter when she was 15 and 16, not 18. He added that his daughter’s mom was present at the appointments.
“However, my intentions I think have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived,” he stated (via E! News). “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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report