Few can forget the “hymen-gate” scandal of November 2019. The controversy involved Atlanta-bred rapper and thesaurus-enthusiast T.I., who went on a podcast and made claims that he urges his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah’s gynecologist to check her hymen, in order to ensure her virginity is intact. Shortly after, he was chastised for this gross invasion of privacy, overstepped parental boundaries and straight-up ignorance about the female reproductive system both online and on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk.
T.I. explained on a recent episode of his Vh1 show T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle why he treats his daughters differently than he treats his sons, which he says is for “protection.”
“To be honest with you, I only feel the need to protect the girls from heartbreak,” he says in the clip. “So for me, it’s about making sure that my daughters grow up as happy and unencumbered by outsiders tweaking their emotions as possible. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want my daughters to date or have experiences. It just means I know that they will hold on to those experiences and I don’t know how that will translate when they come out of it.” T.I. has seven children—three daughters and four sons.
T.I.’s stepdaughter Zonnique told Hollywood Life that her stepdad is certainly more overprotective when it comes to the women in his life, especially his daughters, and she hopes that his youngest daughter Heiress doesn’t have to experience it as badly as she and Deyjah have.
“My mom will always argue, like, you don’t care that the boys go on dates, you let their girlfriends come over,” she explains.“You know, we meet their girlfriends, it’s all cool, it’s like a regular thing. But you know, if I’m in a relationship and I bring my boyfriend over, the whole family has to talk to him. He has to go outside with pops and have these hourlong conversations.”