Celebrities who were victims of domestic violence

Will Smith reveals that he considered killing his abusive father

Stars Insider

07/03/18 | StarsInsider

CELEBRITY Celebs

According to statistics, one in four women in America has been subject to severe physical violence by an intimate partner, and Hollywood isn't left out of this tragic reality. In fact, many celebrities have suffered the trauma of domestic abuse, either as children or in their romantic relationships. 

Will Smith's new memoir has given a raw account of his own experiences. The beloved actor has revealed that his father, who passed away in 2016, was extremely violent towards his mother. He recalled one particularly traumatic attack he witnessed when he 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." He shared that he felt guilt and shame for being unable to protect his mother, and vowed to avenge her when he was strong enough. 

Smith had a complex relationship with his father. He continued to be present as both a positive and negative force in his life. When his father was diagnosed with cancer in his old age and became so ill that he had to use a wheelchair, Smith was still conflicted about his feelings. He recalled the trauma rising up again one night when he was wheeling his father to the bathroom. "I paused at the top of the stairs. I could shove him down, and easily get away with it. I'm Will Smith. No one would ever believe I killed my father on purpose." Luckily, he didn't give in to the sudden urge. "As the decades of pain, anger, and resentment coursed then receded, I shook my head and proceeded to wheel Daddio to the bathroom."

There's no doubt that domestic violence leaves deep, painful wounds that can last a lifetime. Click through the gallery to learn about the other celebrities who survived. 

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