Rapper T.I. has claimed he “exaggerated” when he said he goes with his daughter to the doctor for checks on her hymen to make sure she is a virgin, adding his intentions have been “terribly misconstrued and misconceived”.
The musician and actor, real name Cliffford Harris, sparked controversy when he said he accompanies 18-year-old Deyjah to the gynaecologist and asks her to sign a form so the doctor can give him her personal information.
Appearing on Jada Pinkett Smith’s chat show Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch, he said: “From a place of truth I began to embellish and exaggerate.
“I think a lot of people took it extremely literal, because if you put any of my reputation, who I am as a father, who I’ve been, I honestly thought people knew me better than that.”
Asked if he understood the sensitivity around his comments, he said: “I did not. I understand it now. However I think my intentions have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived.
“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 it was being done present day as an 18-year-old.”
His wife Tiny Harris, who is not Deyjah’s mother, clarified the teenager was 15 or 16 at the time.
T.I. added: “I never said that her mother wasn’t present. Her mother was there. This false narrative has just been sensationalised.
“There was never any objection. She did have a problem with me talking about it, however, and I understand that and I am incredibly apologetic to her for that, not to any of these other strangers or any of these weirdos who toss lies around for fun.
“She knows my intentions, she knows who I am and she knows who I’ve always been and I think that allows a certain level of understanding.
“Outside, the noise is distracting, confusing, it’s hurtful and embarrassing.”
The rapper added that he has been trying to protect his daughter, saying: “In the age or the time when our women, black women, are the most unprotected, unattended, disregarded women on the planet, I am being criticised because I am willing to go above and beyond to protect mine.
“I’m talking about all of the little slimy, grimy, chubby-fingered little boys who want to just come in and defile and destroy the sanctity that I have… I don’t understand anything that is the most important thing to me in my life, I am going to deal with that with very extreme care, and I don’t understand how that is looked at as being so wrong.
“For there to be malice there must be ill-intent. If I’m going to the doctor with you for the sake of controlling you then OK, but if I’m going for the purpose of being a protective parent, and there is no such thing as over-protective, there is protected and unprotected.
“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.
“I’m not there necessarily to protect virginity, I just know that is a big move, once you make that move there are thing that happen that follow, you have to be equipped and I don’t know if you’re equipped.
“Awareness is my first line of defence.”