Tatyana Ali, known for playing Ashley Banks on Fresh Prince talks about her admiration for Will Smith.
via: Page Six
“He’s a beautiful person who has done so much good,” she exclusively told Page Six at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon in New York this week.
Smith, 54, shocked the world last year when he infamously slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars for making a wisecrack about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Ali, 44, didn’t want to go into detail about Smith.
“I don’t want to talk about it because he is somebody who is very close to me and it’s hurtful,” although she did share that a “Fresh Prince” group chat was pinging wildly the night of the Oscars.
Ali played Ashley Banks on the NBC sitcom — which ran from 1990 to 1996 — and credits her family for not ending up in rehab like so many other former child stars.
“My family doesn’t care about whether I’m in entertainment or a teacher,” she shared. “They care about me. I have friends who didn’t fare very well and I think it has to do with when you’re a kid.
“Yes, you’re working, but you’re still a kid and you need someone to protect you and say no. My parents weren’t playing that at all. I had chores like my sisters. I had to go to college.”
Ali ended up at Harvard where she graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in African-American studies and government in 2002.
The mother of two also said that she was a good judge of potential friends and their intentions most of the time.
“I knew who was really there for me and was there for other reasons,” she shared. “I was also betrayed many times, but it was a different era with no social media, where betrayal didn’t mean everybody could see it. I got to cry in private.”
Ali was on hand at the luncheon where author Judy Blume, Natasha Lyonne, Rosie Perez, Kelly Ripa and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez were honored. Other celebs in attendance included Andy Cohen, Aidy Bryant, Sandra Bernhard and Sherri Shepherd.