Jet Li learnt to be a father again after his daughter’s depression


Jet Li revealed that Jada suffered from depression when she was seven years old, but he did not know what was going on. Photo: Jet Li/Facebook

China-born action star Jet Li said he once took a break from work in order to be with his younger daughter because of her depression.

The 60-year-old recently disclosed this to Taiwanese television host Sisy Chen on her talk show Ask Sisy.

He was in Taiwan in November to promote his biography, Beyond Life And Death: Jet Li Looking For Jet Li.

He has been married to former actress Nina Li Chi since 1999 and they have two daughters – Jane, 23, and Jada, 20. He has two older daughters from an earlier marriage to former actress Huang Qiuyan.

“I set aside my movie career after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 to focus on One Foundation,” he said, referring to his charity. “I was busy caring for the society, and my wife was the one who basically took care of my daughter.”

He revealed that Jada suffered from depression when she was seven, but he did not know what was going on. He felt helpless after her condition worsened when she reached 13.

He recalled that she was in a state in which she wanted to give up on life at any time, and he did not have a channel to communicate with her.

“I wanted to find an opportunity to say to her: ‘Sorry, my child, I was wrong. I gave all my time to the world and forgot to care about you.’ I don’t know how to be a good father, so can I learn to be one all over again?”

Jet Li is an international superstar who has starred in movies such as the Once Upon A Time In China film series (1991 to 1997) and the Fong Sai Yuk movies (1993).

However, he said that fame and fortune were of no use as his younger daughter did not think much of him even though he was a star.

He and Jada went on a healing journey together after he learnt about her condition. He asked her to point out his shortcomings, and she criticised him for being too self-centred and egoistic.

“I was really upset at that time, but I was very grateful to her later,” he said. “I didn’t care about the feelings of other people at that time and she woke me up.“

They later embarked on a three-month journey of exploration in Tibetan Buddhist studies and her condition gradually improved.

However, Li emphasised that religion was not the sole reason for her recovery, and it was just one of the ways which enabled them to understand the root of the problem.

He said he has found happiness again and, with his daughter’s experience in mind, urged people to find ways to get rid of their negative emotions. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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