Ladies Like Us podcast hosts Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham have posted a public apology after rapper T.I.'s shocking comments about his teenage daughter's virginity prompted plenty of backlash.
On a recent episode of the podcast, the 39-year-old rapper told Mandi and Moham that he has "yearly trips to the gynecologist" with his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah, "to check her hymen." The podcast episode has since been deleted. Mandi -- who's married to singer Miguel -- and Moham have received criticism online for laughing during T.I.'s comments, and in an apology posted on Instagram on Thursday, they explained it was a "knee jerk reaction."
"To everyone confused, angry and hurt by the recent episode ofLadies Like Us, we want to apologize for our knee jerk reaction to the uncomfortable topic," the statement reads. "We were completely caught off guard/shocked and looking back, we should have reacted much differently in the moment. The comments that were made and the reaction that followed are not in any way a reflection of our personal views on the topic. We support and love Women and feel that their bodies are theirs to do as they wish."
"There was absolutely no ill intent towards any party involved & feel deeply awful about the entire incident," the statement continues. "We are not perfect, take full accountability of our lack of action & are continuously learning along the way. We know an apology doesn't make this go away but we welcome the discussion -- that's what our podcast is about."
During the controversial episode, T.I. said that the yearly gynecologist appointments with Deyjah started after she turned 16. He also noted that the doctor initially expressed privacy concerns over sharing Deyjah's medical information without her consent though she allowed him to, and that the doctor informed T.I. that a "broken" hymen doesn't always come from having sex. Still, T.I. insisted he wanted the doctor's report.
"They come and say, 'OK, well, I just want you to know that there are other ways besides sex that the hymen can be broken, like, bike riding, athletics, horseback riding and just other forms of athletic physical activity,'" he recalled. "So I say, 'Look, Doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports, man. Just check the hymen, please and give me back my results expeditiously.'"
"I will say as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact," he added.
Not surprisingly, T.I's comments sparked criticism -- including tweets from Planned Parenthood, which shared facts and ended with "Say it with us: YOU👏CAN’T👏TELL👏IF👏SOMEONE’S👏HAD👏SEX👏BY👏THE👏WAY👏THEIR👏HYMEN👏LOOKS👏OR👏FEELS" -- but also attracted some supporters. The Real host Jeannie Mai showed understanding for the rapper on Thursday's episode, explaining her own situation growing up with her father and the two not being able to talk openly about certain topics.
"I support what T.I. is doing because I understand how hard it must be to communicate with an opposite-gender daughter, especially in this time, and especially what he must have seen and known, you know, of what boys are like," Mai said. "And, for me, I was a very wild girl. I didn’t like rules. I rebelled a lot."
"So, what I ask of T.I., if he is really doing this, because clearly he’s super concerned about today’s world and that everything promotes sex, I would just say, What is it that you’re concerned about when it comes to the breaking of the hymen or that she’s having sex? Is it the STDs? Is it that she doesn’t understand what love it? Does he need to know who the boys are? Why doesn’t he trust her?"
For more on the controversy, watch the video below: