Warren A. Brown, now a successful attorney in Baltimore, Maryland, married Smith’s mom Adrienne Banfield Jones in 1979 when the actress was just 8-years-old. Although Jones has recently spoken openly about her drug abuse when her daughter was a child, this is the first time Smith’s stepdad has revealed what really went on under their roof. And he’s not proud of it.
“At times I felt guilty,” Brown told Celebuzz. “I remember just the three of us in the house together and I knew I was high and so was her mother.
“She didn’t know though, she was too young to recognize it. She didn’t see us doing anything. But I felt really bad because I thought this little girl deserves better than her parents (being) addicted.”
Brown admits cocaine was his drug of choice, but stopped short of revealing too much about his ex-wife’s substance abuse.
“While we were both dealing with that, I was still going to court and she was going to school and working. She left it up to me to watch Jada,” he added.
“It’s difficult to feel guilty. I don’t really blame myself, but I think about a couple things. I question that if I had not divorced myself from them, whether or not she would have fallen into addictions. And if I had been around I may have witnessed it and been able to pull her out of it.”
Although he doesn’t know of any “addictions” Jada may have endured back then, he tries to remember only the good times they shared being “thick as thieves.” And there were many.
“She was a sweet little girl. We were very close. It was me and Jada,” said Brown. “I was raising her while her mother was working and in college.”
Brown recalls taking her on many “firsts,” including trips to New York City, Cape Cod, Virginia Beach and Jamaica.
He even recalls a day trip to the movie theatre to see The Karate Kid, which brought back a flood of memories when he passed by a local theatre only to see her son Jaden on the marquee for the new installment in 2010.
“We spent a lot of time together,” he said of their bond before he divorced her mother around 1986. “But once I separated from her and her mom, I quickly got remarried and my new wife asked that I distance myself from her. So it was a sudden departure for Jada, and it was always just the two of us.”
He can’t help but think if he would have been there for her, she would have struggled less.
“Anyone who knew of our relationship would not disagree that my estrangement with her may have played a part,” admitted Brown.
“I tend to think that if I was there, I could have provided a positive role model.
“I loved that little girl.”
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