Jada Pinkett Smith cries with mum of girl, 12, whose alopecia led her to take own life

Red Table Talk: Niki Ball opens up about daughter’s alopecia

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Jada Pinkett Smith, 50, along with her daughter Willow, 21, and mother, Adrienne, 68, sat down with Niki Ball on the latest episode of Red Table Talk. Niki’s daughter Rio, 12, suffered extreme bullying due to her alopecia.

Devastatingly, the bullying that Rio endured led her to take her own life.

Niki, who also has a seven-year-old daughter named Avry, told Jada: “With the hair loss, she was so strong.  

“She just rocked it, even when it was falling out and she had these big bald patches… [When we shaved her head] she just glowed.

“And with school coming up we got her a super cute wig and she loved it.

“But at school, within a few weeks, she was like, ‘I don’t want to wear it anymore, there’s no point’.

“She had it ripped off her head, she would get smacked on the head walking down the hallwa

“She was called a naked mole-rat, she was called a bug-eyed alien, she was called Mr and Mrs Clean.”

Niki recalled that Rio had a particularly “bad day” at school and “just lost it” on the way home.

She explained that Rio died three weeks later.

As Niki told her heartbreaking story, Jada was visibly emotional and had tears in her eyes as she hung her head.
The actress then told Niki that her story is one of the reasons that people “need an understanding around the devastation of this condition,” as reported by PEOPLE.

Jada first confirmed she had alopecia back in 2018.

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During an episode of Red Table Talk, Jada explained that she first noticed symptoms when she lost “handfuls of hair” in the shower.

She said it was “terrifying when it first started” and she found herself “shaking with fear”.

Jada then made the decision to shave her head because she felt it was “time to let go”.

Her condition has been a topic of conversation since Chris Rock made a joke at her expense while hosting the Oscars back in March.

He quipped about Jada’s bald head saying: “Can’t wait for G.I Jane 2.”

The situation then took a dramatic turn when Jada’s husband, Will Smith, stormed onto the stage and slapped the comedian across the face – later apologising for his actions.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year.

Alternatively, you can find more information on the Samaritans website here.

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