T.I. Says He Was Embellishing Daughter Deyjah Harris’ Hymen Exam Story

T.I. has apologized to his daughter Deyjah Harris for saying he previously verified her virginity at annual gynecologist appointments, but says “Hymen-Gate” was “misconstrued” and “sensationalized.”

The rapper, 39, appeared on Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk” show with his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, to address controversial comments he made about having a doctor check his 18-year-old daughter’s hymen.

Throughout the interview, the rapper waffled between denial and defensiveness. Early in the interview, he insisted he had been misunderstood, but as the talk went on, he began to defend his actions as nothing more than protective parenting.

“Firstly, I came to clear up any misconceptions that have been surrounding how we interact and parent and what is appropriate and inappropriate,” he said on the Facebook show. “My intentions have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived. All of this false narrative has just been sensationalized.”

“All of this surrounds a conversation that I was having in a very joking manner,” he said of his comments in early November on the podcast “Ladies Like Us.”

“When I was asked how … I deal with parenting in this day and age, I just began to, from a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate and I think a lot of people kinda like took it extremely literal.”

He continued: “If you put any of my reputation, like who I am as a father and who I’ve been, I honestly thought people knew me better than that.”

The rapper, whose real name is Clifford Harris, received backlash over saying he accompanies his daughter to the gynecologist to ensure her hymen is still intact, a practice long debunked and denounced by medical professionals.

“We have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” he said on the podcast. “As of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”

When Pinkett Smith asked if he “understood the sensitivity” of the situation, the rapper responded with a very dramatic, “No, I did not. I understand it now. Yes, I do, absolutely.”

While he understands that hymens do not indicate virginity, T.I. said he did want to clear up some specifics about the comments.

“Never said I was in any exam room. That is an assumption. That is a falsity,” he said. “I never said that it was being done in present day as an 18-year-old.”

“She was 15 and 16 years old at the time,” Tiny said, adding that Deyjah is “quiet” and “doesn’t talk a lot.”

“And I never said that her mother wasn’t present,” T.I. added of Harris’ mom, singer Ms. Niko.

While he said “there was never any objection” to the checks, his daughter was not happy her dad aired her private life in the media.

“She did have a problem with me talking about it, however. And I understand that,” he said. “I am incredibly apologetic to her for that. To her. To you, sweet baby Deyjah. Not to any of these other strangers and any of these weirdos who just kinda toss lies around for fun.”

When the discussion turned to how Deyjah handled the situation, T.I. said his daughter advised him to “Just let it go.”

He said he then received “different directives” from Deyjah to go “clear up” rumors, so that’s why he agreed to appear on “Red Table Talk.”

Pinkett Smith went on to discuss women’s privacy, father-daughter relationships and family dynamics with the rapper, who said he was very eager to talk with “powerful, independent, brilliant women” about a father’s place.

“It’s a teachable moment,” Pinkett Smith said. “I knew when I heard it, I said, ‘There’s a big misunderstanding.’ ”

T.I. insisted he was just trying to help his daughter make the best decisions before she was an adult.

“There’s no such thing as overprotective,” he said. “I am here to protect all of the children from themselves until they make it to a point when they have awareness and discernment to be able to make certain decisions on their own that will impact their lives indefinitely.”

He added: “Since she turned 18, I don’t have control of anything.”

T.I. also clarified that he was not trying to be “controlling” but rather just making sure his daughter was making good decisions.

“I’m not there to protect necessarily virginity. I just know that is a big move,” he said. “Once you make that move, there are things that happen that follow.”

Part two of T.I. and Tiny’s “Red Table Talk” airs tomorrow and the couple will discuss their relationship and cheating rumors.


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