Will Smith Admits He Contemplated Killing His Father to 'Avenge' His Mother

Will Smith is releasing his new memoir this month and, in a recently published excerpt, the iconic star admits that he once contemplated killing his father to "avenge" his mother. PEOPLE reports that in an excerpt from his new book, simply titled Will, the 57-year-old actor heartbreakingly recalls witnessing his mother being abused by his father. Later, Smith very candidly shares it wasn't until his father was in a weakened state from a cancer diagnosis, through which Smith cared for him, that the King Richard star momentarily thought about taking his life. [Please Note: The following story contains depictions of abuse and domestic violence.]

"One night, as I delicately wheeled him from his bedroom toward the bathroom, a darkness arose within me," Smith writes. "The path between the two rooms goes past the top of the stairs. As a child I'd always told myself that 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." He continues, "I paused at the top of the stairs. I could shove him down, and easily get away with it. As the decades of pain, anger, and resentment coursed then receded, I shook my head and proceeded to wheel Daddio to the bathroom."

Recalling what he and his mother lived through when he was younger, Smith shares some very tragic and disturbing memories in his new book. "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 that bedroom, probably more than any other moment in my life, has defined who I am."

Smith goes on to write, "Within everything that I have done since then — the awards and accolades, the spotlights and attention, the characters and the laughs — there has been a subtle string of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day. For failing her in the moment. For failing to stand up to my father. For being a coward."

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Finally, the beloved actor explains that while his father was an abusive alcoholic, he still found a way to be part of his son's life. "My father was violent, but he was also at every game, play, and recital. He was an alcoholic, but he was sober at every premiere of every one of my movies," he shares. "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." Will is set to be released on Nov. 9.