T.I. is speaking out after making some controversial comments about his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris.
The rapper appeared on the Ladies Like Us podcast, where he was asked whether he talks to his daughter about sex. “Not only have we had the conversation — we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” he told the podcast hosts.
“Yes, I go with her,” the rapper continued. “I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”
The comments ruffled a lot of feathers. Virginity testing is an archaic concept, and the idea that the state of girl’s hymen can reflect her sexual activity isn’t accurate.
People were concerned for Deyjah, as her medical and human rights are being violated if what her dad said was, in fact, the truth. The backlash was so great that Ladies Like Us has since deleted the episode and apologized for not addressing the comments head-on in the moment.
T.I. appeared on Red Table Talk to discuss the controversy. “I came to clear up any misconceptions that have been surrounding how we interact and parent and what is appropriate and inappropriate. I think all of this surrounds a conversation I was having in a very joking manner,” he claimed. “From a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate, and I think that a lot of people took it extremely literal.”
“I think that my intentions have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived,” he continued. He went on to clarify, “I never said I was in any exam room. That was an assumption. That is a falsity. I never said it was being done present-day as an 18-year-old … I never said that her mother wasn’t present. Her mom was present.”
T.I. went on to apologize to Deyjah for the embarrassment. “She understands my intentions and she knows who I am. She knows who I’ve always been,” he said. “And I think that that allows a certain level of understanding. The outside, the noise, it’s distracting, it’s confusing, it’s hurtful and embarrassing.”
Those who were bothered by T.I.’s original comments didn’t find the interview to be redeeming, especially when he compared how he addresses sex with his daughter versus with his son. “If my son goes out and gets a girl pregnant, how has the household changed for those nine months? The household does not necessarily change those nine months, whereas if my daughter comes home [pregnant], my household is changed immediately,” he said. “The stakes are higher.”
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