Lauryn Hill and her former partner, Rohan Marley, are responding to backlash after their daughter spoke out about the discipline she received as a child.
Selah Marley took to Instagram Live to recount her experiences as a young child when Hill would spank her and her siblings. The 21-year-old described her mother as “very angry” during her younger years, saying she was unapproachable and not easy to talk to, according to Complex.
“She’d be like ‘go get the belt.’ That’s how you know you’re in trouble,” she said. “Now everyone’s shaking in their boots.”
Selah described her experiences as traumatic.
“It’s crazy, I’m playing this trauma back in my head as I speak with you,” she said.
She said Hill would hold the children's hands above their heads as they were spanked and berate them with stern remarks.
“You’re just screaming crying, right … and then after that it would be ‘fix your face,'” she said. “So now you’re sitting there mad as f**k, you’re mad as s**t and you’re mad, you feel betrayed, you’re angry, you feel betrayed, you’re this and she’s just like ‘yo, fix your face.'"
After recalling the discipline she received as a child, Selah acknowledged that at the time, her mother was “going through her own s**t” and getting attacked by the media.
“Everyone has their s**t, but my mom changed. She’s not like that anymore, actually. She actually changed. I’m very proud of her,” Selah said.
The granddaughter of the legendary Bob Marley said she often stayed up at night in tears after hearing her parents fight and added that while she forgives her mother, she’s not sure the singer realizes the toll her discipline style had on her children.
“I don’t know if I fully blame her for that, but in the same sense, I don’t think she realizes how much that s**t affected me, because now I think that’s all I know. All I know is physical,” she said.
The “Doo Wop” singer took to social media to respond to her daughter's comments and to the reactions fans were having, saying that while she doesn’t think she was wrong for disciplining her children, she shouldn’t have done so out of anger.
"Selah has every right to express herself, I encourage it, but she also got the discipline that black children get because we are held to a different standard," Hill wrote on Facebook. "The discipline was seen through the lens of a young child who also had no place to reconcile me as mom, and me as a larger than life public figure. It took me a while to realize that my children, and probably everyone who knew me saw me in this duality. To me, I am just me. If I am guilty of anything it is disciplining in anger, not in disciplining."
Hill also said the treatment she received from the public affected how she interacted with her family. The Fugees member told her followers not to be quick to judge other people for their circumstances because they don’t know the full story.
"We're both learning and healing, and each of my children has a similar story and journey. All of you in a rush to crucify someone, careful who you string up or nail up. You might have an extremely limited view of the actual reality," she said.
Rohan also addressed the comments, saying he’s happy his daughter feels as if she can openly express herself and discuss her experiences.
"Selah's expression on Instagram is a healing process for her. I'm very happy that she is fearless in her expression," Rohan said in a statement, according to Hot New Hip Hop. "I love her very much and do apologize for any contributions I may have added by arguing in front of her as a child.”
The 48-year-old said he is continuously growing and will always be there for his daughter.
While both her parents did speak out, Selah later said that her comments about their parenting styles were taken out of context and asked the public to stop attacking them.
“The discussion that I had was a larger conversation about a certain trauma that I experienced from a lack of unity in the household,” she wrote on Instagram, according to Yahoo. “But PLEASE do not go bashing my parents right now — especially my father. I never said I don’t love them.”