T.I. responds to backlash over comments about daughter and virginity

The rapper was criticized for saying he goes to the gynecologist with his 18-year-old daughter to "check her hymen" and make sure it's "still intact."

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/ Source: TODAY
By Gina Vivinetto

T.I. is apologizing for insensitive comments he made about his daughter's virginity.

The rapper and actor, whose real name is Clifford Harris, was criticized this month for saying he goes to the gynecologist with his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah, each year to "check her hymen" and make sure it's "still intact."

“I came to clear up any misconceptions that have been surrounding how we interact and parent and what is appropriate and inappropriate,” T.I., 39, said during an interview on Jada Pinkett Smith's Facebook Watch chat show, "Red Table Talk," released Monday.

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T.I. made the initial comments as a guest on the "Ladies Like Us" podcast during what he described to Pinkett Smith as a "very joking" conversation.

“From a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate and I think a lot of people took it extremely literal,” he said, adding, "I honestly thought people knew me better than that."

The rapper said he did go with Deyjah to the gynecologist when she was a minor, but never entered an exam room with her. Neither Deyjah nor her mother, singer Ms. Niko, objected to his actions, he said.

“(Deyjah) did have a problem with me talking about it, however, and I understand that, and I am incredibly apologetic to her for that,” he said, adding, “She understands my intentions and she knows who I am. She knows who I’ve always been.”

Controlling his daughter's body has never been his goal, the rapper clarified. He simply wanted to "protect" her — and his other kids.

"I am here to protect all of the children from themselves until they make it to a point where they have awareness, a sense of self and discernment to be able to make certain decisions on their own that will impact their lives indefinitely,” he said.

"I'm not there to protect necessarily virginity," he clarified. "I just know (having sex) is a big move. Once you make that move, there are things that happen, that follow, (and) you have to be equipped."