I was a “coward” for not separating mother from abuse

Will Smith will always stand by his family.

Season 4 of Netflix’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction Starring David Letterman” premiered on Friday when Smith, 53, visited the couch in episode two.

The interview is full of tidbits from the actor’s life and career, including a moment when he playfully chided Letterman, 75, for speaking out about his mother, Caroline Bright.

“Don’t say anything about my mom, Dave,” Smith chides the former Late Show host.

While viewers also hoped the ‘King Richard’ star would talk to the veteran talk show host about the infamous Oscar gossip, fans suffered a major disappointment when they found out the episode was filmed before March 2022, when Smith caused a stir by running onto the stage at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles and punching Chris Rock in the face.

“The episode was taped before the 2022 Academy Awards,” read a PSA title card before the episode aired.

94th Annual Academy Awards - Show
Smith caused a stir when he ran onto the stage at the Academy Awards in March and slapped presenter Chris Rock in the face after he made a joke about the singer’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Getty Images

Elsewhere on the show, Smith addressed his recent memoir, Will, in which he spoke about his childhood and the contentious relationship between his father and mother.

“The first line of the first chapter is, ‘I always thought I was a coward,'” Smith explained to Letterman. “When I was nine years old, I saw my father beating my mother and I did nothing. And that just left a traumatic impression of me as a coward.”

“Life is so exciting for me right now because I’m able to reach out to people in a different way than I ever have before, mostly because of my pain,” he said. “I’m really ready to immerse myself in my art in ways that I think will hopefully fulfill me and help the human family.”

Wil Smith Netflix
The Oscar winner opened up about his life, family and career in an interview with David Letterman.
Netflix

Smith also gave Letterman some boxing tips and spoke about defending his family. The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star noted that at one point in his life he realized that the “material world is totally, utterly and utterly incapable of sustaining our happiness.”

“Beyond the essentials to protect yourself and your family,” interjected Letterman.

“You can’t protect your family, can you?” said the father of three. “It’s not real. Protection and security is an illusion. You have to learn to live with the reality that at any moment it can all be over in a second.”

He added: “So with this reality, how can you be here? And how can you be happy and be here?”

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