In Will Smith‘s new memoir Will, he reveals family secrets and violent incidents involving his late father, Will Carrol Smith Sr.

Early in the book, Smith describes the turbulent relationship he had with his father and what his family life was like. He writes about his family dynamics which included his mother Caroline Bright and his three siblings in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“My father was violent, but was also at every game, play and recital. He was an alcoholic, but he was sober at every one of my movies,” he wrote. “He listened to every record. He visited every studio. The same intense perfectionism that terrorized his family put food on the table every night of my life.”

The actor writes about a terrifying, violent memory he has when he saw his father abuse his mother. It stuck with him forever.

“When I 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 my bedroom, probably more than any other moment in my life, has defined who I am.

That moment impacted his entire life and career and shaped how he would present himself in public. It also made him feel guilt and responsibility for what happened to his mother.

“With everything that I have done since then – the awards and accolades, the spotlights and attention, the characters and laughs-there was been a subtle string of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day. For failing her in that moment. For failing to stand up to my father. For being a coward.”

Smith kept a close relationship with his father but still carried that anger in him, even as he cared for Will Sr. when he fell ill with cancer.

“One night, as I delicately wheeled him from his bedroom toward the bathroom, a darkness arose within me. The path between the two rooms goes past the top of the stairs. As a child, I’d always told myself I would one day avenge my mother. That when I was big enough, when I was strong enough when I was no longer a coward, I would slay him.”

It was then when Smith contemplated killing his father.

“I paused at the top of the stairs. I could shove him down, and easily get away with it,” he writes. “As the decades of pain, anger, and resentment coursed then receded, I shook my head and proceeded to wheel Daddio to the bathroom.”

Will Sr. passed away in 2016. Will is set to be released on November 9.

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