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Channing Tatum opens up about his struggles as a single dad

The 21 Jump Street actor is a father to nine-year-old Everly who he shares with The Rookie's Jenna Dewan


Channing Tatum on Today at talking and looking to the left© Getty Images
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
June 5, 2023
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Channing Tatum has opened up about some of the struggles he has found navigating life as a single dad to his and his ex-wife Jenna Dewan's daughter Everly. The Magic Mike's Last Dance actor – who recently reunited with The Rookie star in order to cheer their nine-year-old on in a dance competition – discussed his experience as a single parent during an interview with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on their show, Today with Hoda and Jenna.

"I didn’t plan to be a single dad," the 43-year-old actor admitted after he was asked about his parenting experience. "That was not in the cards [or] in my planning at the least. And I was pretty nervous," he admitted.

WATCH: Catch up with the trailer for Channing Tatum's latest Magic Mike movie

The Alabama-born star continued honestly: "I was like, ‘She’s a girl.’ I was looking up on YouTube how to braid her hair. I didn’t want to be the dad who was bringing her to school looking like she had just slept on the street."

MORE: Channing Tatum details 'terrifying' divorce from Jenna Dewan 

Channing was appearing on the show to promote his latest children's book, The One and Only Sparkella and the Big Lie. As he explained to the Today hosts, writing this series of books has greatly helped the actor with his journey as a father. "This series of books kind of came from [this nervousness]," he said. "It was me really figuring out how to talk to a little girl."

Channing sat talking with Hoda and Jenna (sat opposite) on their show© Getty Images
Channing talking with Hoda and Jenna on their show

The 21 Jump Street actor's Sparkella book series – of which there are now three installments – have so far all been inspired by his own daughter, and this latest book (released May 30) is no exception.

DISCOVER: Channing Tatum's daughter looks so grown up in new photos - but fans are divided 

As the famous father explained to Hoda and Jenna on Today, the idea for book three came from an incident when Everly took home a toy car from school, but didn't know how to explain that she had taken it so hid the fact for a bit. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly earlier in a June 2 interview about this moment from their past, Channing explained: "It was eating her up that she took it. She was so nervous to tell me, she didn't wanna tell me…

Channing posing for a selfie with a copy of his new book under his chin© Channing Tatum on Instagram
Channing announcing his new book in September 2022

"She felt so bad about it," he continued: "But then when she told me she felt better and we returned the little toy car." This inspired the Hollywood actor to make the focus of his next book Sparkella discovering "that the burden of carrying [a lie] is worse than just accepting it and apologizing for it," as many young children come to realize as they grow.

SEE: Salma Hayek stuns in flirty dress for birthday dance with Channing Tatum 

Revealing more about his relationship with Everly in his Today interview, Channing said: "We have a good relationship," before later also opening up about her interests now as a nine-year-old. Explaining that Everly is a Taylor Swift fan, the actor also revealed: "[And] she’s a dancer, she loves Celtic Irish dancing…

The actor and author sat reading to children at an event in Brooklyn© Getty Images
The actor and author reading to children in Brooklyn

"She just loves anything magical — fairies, elves — and when you look on YouTube, all the clip art for Celtic Irish music is fairies, so I think that’s how we started it. And then she became obsessed with Celtic music. Now we’re doing Celtic Irish dancing, so that’s all we’ve listened to for the last two years," he finished relatably.

READ: Jenna Dewan confirms she is pregnant one year after Channing Tatum split

Everly posing for a selfie at the beach with her mom Jenna© Jenna Dewan on Instagram
Everly with her mom Jenna

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