Kevin Hart: 'Until this day, my daughter is tough on me' after cheating scandal

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Kevin Hart in an olive-drab jacket raising his hand
Comedian Kevin Hart appeared on a Father's Day episode of "Red Table Talk," hosted by actor Will Smith. (Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

"Fatherhood" star Kevin Hart got real about his approach to being a dad while appearing on a Father's Day episode of "Red Table Talk."

During Sunday's installment of the hit talk show, Hart opened up to actor Will Smith about how his family has weathered media firestorms surrounding his personal choices, including a cheating scandal and past homophobic tweets that forced him to step down as host of the 2019 Oscars.

For the second time in "Red Table" history, Smith stepped in as host of the Facebook Watch program, usually moderated by his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, his daughter, Willow Smith, and his mother-in-law, Adrienne "Gammy" Banfield-Norris.

"It's so hard to bother me," Hart told Smith. "But when your child shows disappointment, shows emotion ... and you've got to have those conversations?

"Well now, head drops for the first time, and now you realize that there's a different emotional cord that can be pulled on you that nobody else has the privilege of ever touching. And my daughter touched on that cord, man."

After he was exposed in 2017 for cheating on his then-pregnant wife, Eniko Parrish, Hart said, the father of four had a discussion "like no other" with his 16-year-old daughter Heaven. Despite initially denying the infidelity rumors, the "Jumanji" star later apologized publicly amid separate accusations of extortion, according to "Today."

"Getting my daughter back — getting my daughter to understand that I was sorry, that I made a mistake — that was real," Hart said.

"Every child has the internet. There's nothing that you're going to come across ... that isn't going to have an impression ... Until this day, my daughter is tough on me. My daughter don't play no games with her father, man."

Hart also addressed the "misconception" surrounding his years-old homophobic tweets, for which he apologized to the LGBTQ community before stepping down as host of the Academy Awards in 2019.

"My daughter was so upset because she couldn't process how people could think this about her father," Hart said. "And it was so tough because this is when I started to realize how my fame has an impact on my household."

Around the time Smith's son, Jaden, starred in a remake of "The Karate Kid" and Willow released her hit debut single, "Whip My Hair," Smith recalled pressuring his children "to win" early in their professional careers. His third child, Trey — whom Smith shares with ex-wife Sheree Zampino — was also excelling at football at the time.

"I could not find that space inside of me where feelings were more important than accomplishment," Smith said. "So my parenting style and my definition of a father's love is, 'I am going to teach you how to win.'

"The hidden part of that is, 'I'm going to teach you how to not care about your feelings,' which is a deep and tragic betrayal of the most important part of themselves. And that's what was really great about this red table. Jada having her mother and Willow at the table, she really started teaching our family how to talk — how to open up and be vulnerable."

The next episode of "Red Table Talk" premieres Wednesday on Facebook Watch.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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