Priyanka Chopra Jonas shares why her ‘super paranoid’ dad put bars on her window

·3 min read

Priyanka Chopra Jonas says her dad had reason to put bars on her window when she was a teenager.

“My dad was super paranoid because he sent to America a 12-year-old with braids," she said on SiriusXM's "Howard Stern Show" in a clip posted to YouTube May 2.

"And (I was) trying to be cool, so I got my hair blown out," she said of her time in the U.S. "That was the only thing I had ever done. (I) come back, after all of these American hormones and the food, I come back a little bit more woman than my dad would have anticipated at 16."

But that's not why her father, Dr. Ashok Chopra, hired professionals to put bars on her window.

“It was scary,” she said before describing what happened.

"When I went back to India and I was in this small town and I was peacocking, like I peacocked in my American high school, I had boys follow me home and one of them jumped into my balcony at night," she recalled.

Her dad drew the line there, she recalled.

"That’s why my dad was like, ‘F--- this. Bars. All your jeans are confiscated. You are going to wear Indian suits. Nothing happening,'" she said of his response. "I had a driver drive me everywhere. He was freaked out."

She doesn't seem to mind how her dad reacted.

"I get it, but then my career happened," she said. "I feel so bad for my dad.”

The 40-year-old mother and actor shared more intimate details about her relationship with her father in her TODAY cover story. He died in 2013 after battling cancer for several years.

“I think I lost my greatest cheerleader. I felt like that for the longest time,” she told Hoda Kotb for the cover story. “He used to get so excited if I ever won an award, if I signed a new movie. … He would just want to be around to watch me do what I do.”

Her life later became a time of reckoning with what her body looked like during a period when she was experiencing loneliness.

“The 30s were kind of tumultuous for me when it came to my body," she recalled. "I was going from this 20 years teen-like body, which is … metabolism is at its highest. And then you reach your mid-30s and you’re like, ‘Oh, I can’t skip a meal and it’ll just look great.’ It was a really tough time for me to be able to say ‘I’m going to do what’s good for my body’ because emotionally I wasn’t there.”

“I’ve thought about that phase in my life a lot," she added. "And my body needed to mourn, my heart needed to mourn, and yeah, you know, I needed pizzas to do it,” she told Hoda, balancing her vulnerability with a small laugh. “I allowed myself to do that … pizza and a bottle of wine and a s----- movie.”

“I reached a point where I knew that bottom had been hit. And now, the only way was up,” she said, adding, "I started choosing myself instead of the darkness that is seductive and that kind of reaches out for you sometimes. As soon as you choose what’s good for you and stop waiting for someone else to be that hand to pull you out of it, it’s a very powerful thing.”

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