Paris’ Pride: Michael Jackson’s daughter opened up to Willow Smith on Red Table Talk about coming out as LGBT to her ‘very religious’ family
In a departure from the Facebook Watch show’s typical format of a round-table discussion featuring hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris and Willow Smith, Wednesday’s (June 16) episode saw Jackson join 20-year-old Smith for a candid one-on-one convo.
During their discussion, Jackson reflected on her past attempts to end her own life and what brought her out of that mentality.
“A lot of people do feel regret when they try and attempt suicide,” she said. “There have been times where I did and times where I didn’t, where I was upset that it didn’t work. But I can say, several years later, that I’m really grateful that it didn’t. Things have gotten better.”
She added: “It was really hard, and people would tell me to kill myself every day. And I was depressed.”
Jackson shared that with each unsuccessful suicide attempt, she came to a “morbid” realisation that it “just wasn’t meant to be”.
“Just like, ‘OK, I’ve tried and tried and tried, and it’s just not working. Maybe it’s just not my time, and that sucks,’” she said.
Jackson said her mental health has since improved and that she’s found more joy and ways to cope. Last autumn, during a harvest moon, the 23-year-old musician had an especially powerful personal experience, she said.
According to Jackson, she was having a “really rough night, because some old memories came up”. She decided to pray and later felt the need to give herself affirmations in front of a mirror. The practice led her to “recognise myself for the first time in 10 years,” she explained.
“I experienced self-love for the first time in my entire life,” she said. “It was this really corny moment between me, myself and the mirror … It was so intense. Just a lot of gratitude. It took a really long time to get to that point.”
Jackson added that she’s recommended practising affirmations to her friends, even though the act itself can feel awkward and uncomfortable at first.
She added that she doesn’t expect her family to “put aside their culture and their religion”.
“Expectations, to me, lead to resentments,” she said. “What people think about me isn’t my business.”
“Even though the lows are unbearably low, I would still rather that than nothing,” the model and musician said of her depression on Unfiltered. “Pain is way better than numb because at least you’re feeling something.”
If you are having suicidal thoughts, or you know someone who is, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on +1 800 273 8255. For a list of other nations’ helplines, see this page.
- The Facebook Watch series broke its typical round-table format with other hosts Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris for a one-on-one interview
- Paris Jackson got candid about her mental health struggles with depression and suicide attempts – now she practises affirmations and tells friends to do similar