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As Jaden Smith turns 25, the shocking story of the moment he 'shattered' dad Will Smith's heart

Will is father to Jaden, 24, daughter Willow and son Trey

Jaden asked to be emancipated at the age of 15© Michael Stewart
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
July 8, 2023
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Jaden Smith turns 25 on July 8, 2023 and will surely celebrate the day with his beloved family including dad Will Smith, mom Jada Pinkett-Smith and sister Willow. But ten years ago, the actor and musician felt "betrayed" by his world-famous father and asked to become an emancipated minor at the age of 15. 

Will and Jaden starred together in 2013's box office dud After Earth, and writing in his self-titled memoir, released in 2022, Will revealed how Jaden felt "betrayed" by his father's advice because it was Will who had "coached" his son only for the teen to be hit with "vicious" critiques and reviews.

Will Smith and Jaden Smith are guests on "Good Morning America," in 2013© Fred Lee
Jaden felt 'betrayed' by his father

"After Earth was an abysmal box office and critical failure, and what was worse was that Jaden took the hit. Fans and the press were absolutely vicious; they said and printed things about Jaden that I refuse to repeat. Jaden had faithfully done everything that I'd instructed him to do, and I had coached him," Will wrote.

"We never discussed it, but I know he felt betrayed. He felt misled, and he lost his trust in my leadership. At fifteen years old, when Jaden asked about being an emancipated minor, my heart shattered. He ultimately decided against it, but it sucks to feel like you've hurt your kids." 

Jaden Smith visits BET's "106 & Park" at BET Studios on May 30, 2013© John Ricard
Jaden asked to be emancipated

Will is father to Jaden, 22-year-old daughter Willow, and son Trey, 31, whom he welcomed during his first marriage to Sheree Zampino.

The news that Jaden wanted to apply for emancipation is a story Will shared with fans many years ago but he never revealed the intimate entails until his autobiography. Ten years on, however, and the pair are closer than ever – and after Will's now-infamous behavior at the 2022 Oscars, where he slapped host Chris Rock, Jaden stood strong alongside his dad. 

Taking to Twitter shortly after the event, the young actor wrote a short, simple message which read: "And that's how we do it." 

Will Smith (R) slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Californi© ROBYN BECK
Will Smith (R) slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars

Jaden is also close with sister Willow, and in June they attended the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show, the first for Pharrell Williams as the new men's creative director for the fashion house. The pair were dressed in LV from head to toe with Jaden rocking a LV monogrammed blue jacket with a pair of jeans. 

Their last notable appearance together was in April 2023 when Willow made her big debut at Coachella Music Festival, and Jaden made an appearance omn stage as a surprise guest. 

Willow Smith and Jaden Smith attend the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show© Antoine Flament
Willow Smith and Jaden Smith attend the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show

Willow's set also went viral thanks to her dad Will, who was beaming with pride and he filmed his teary-eyed reaction to her Coachella set and later shared the video with fans on social media. 

"I can't stop crying," he captioned the video — and when Willow invited Jaden on stage to sing their collaboration, 'Summertime in Paris,' Jaden referred to his sister in front of the crowd, saying: "It brings tears to my eyes as your brother to see you do this. I love you so much.

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