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Will Smith says he crafted a joyful image to cover the pain of the past

The world knows Will Smith as a musician, a comedian and blockbuster movie star — perhaps even the most bankable star in the world. But in his new memoir, called Will, Smith explores another identity, one that has fueled his unwavering work ethic: that of a coward. Smith says that when he was 9, he stood by, watching helplessly as his father beat his mother. It was a moment that shaped his identity.

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