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Lauryn Hill's daughter says comments about childhood 'trauma' were taken out of context

Written By Suzy Byrne for

Lauryn Hill and Selah Marley attend the Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2019 Menswear Collection at Liberty State Park in New Jersey in 2018. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)Lauryn Hill’s daughter Selah Marley is speaking out about painful childhood trauma. Within a two-hour Instagram video — in which Marley dissected her own behavior in relationships — the 21-year-old also spoke about her childhood with her “very angry” singer mom, of The Fugees fame, whom she claims disciplined her by whipping her with belts, describing it as “some slave owner s***.” Meanwhile, she spoke of her father, Rohan Marley, being a largely absent dad. Marley has since spoken out clarifying that that the video was part of a “larger conversation” about “trauma that I experienced from a lack of unity in the household,” as Hill and Rohan’s relationship was on-and-off as they parented five children together. She said the now-deleted video was not an invitation to “go bashing my parents — especially my father. I never said that I did not love them. I said their shortcomings created trauma that I now need to consciously and actively heal from.” (Photo: Selah Marley via Instagram)Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to a rep for Hill, 45, and will update this story when we get a response.

In the video, Marley discussed a failed romantic relationship of her own, leading to her to bring up her own “backstory” about her childhood. “When I was younger, my mother, just like her parents, she would spank us,” she said. “[Hill] was just very angry. She was so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so angry. She was literally unapproachable. Not easy to talk to. And half the time I didn’t live with her, I was living with my grandparents half the time. She was very angry.”

Marley spoke about getting “disciplined” at the hands of Hill, interrupting her own story to say just discussing it was replaying the “trauma back” in her head. She recalled Hill telling her, “‘Go get the belt.’ That’s how you know you’re in trouble... You go walk to your doom — it’s like walking to your death. And my mother is an amazing woman, but, um, she obviously didn’t do everything right.” Lauryn Hill and daughter Selah Marley celebrate Lauryn Hill's birthday in 2015. (Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images)Marley went on to re-enact what she said was her mom hitting her with a belt or “switch,” saying Hill “would hold our hands” together in the air “as she beat us.” She recalled “running in circles” as she was struck, “screaming and crying.”

She said the sound of the belt hitting, which she swung during the re-enactment, “just traumatized me” again.

Marley said her mother would then tell her to “fix your face” over and over and would go on to make “constant threats.”

She said getting “the belt” was “slave s***. It was some slave s***. All Black parents were on that slave owner s***.”

She said Hill and her parents would fight too, noting, “So I didn’t really see much peace.”

Marley said Hill was “off her rocker” from Marley’s early years until she was 10. She made the point that Hill then “changed. She’s not like that anymore. I’m very proud of her. Very, very proud of her.”

And Marley said she always felt for Hill amid the trauma because she was juggling a lot. “She’s Lauryn Hill,” she said. “She’s getting attacked by the media. She was also going through her own s***. She had five kids with a man that — they didn’t really get to know each other. So they were always arguing, always fighting.”

Marley talked more about her parents’ relationship, saying Hill would be “crying over my father” or fighting with him. She recalled being the only kid awake on many occasions, crying alone in her room amid the fighting. “I don’t think she realizes how much that s*** affected me,” she said.

Marley also talked about her dad’s role in it. She recalled once when she was 10 her mom incessantly texting Rohan during a dispute. In hindsight, she wondered, “Where is my father?” She said Rohan, son of Bob Marley, “just wasn’t around,” leaving a “void.”

She added that she didn’t even “get it so bad” from Hill compared to her older brother, Zion, who she said Hill “projected” her anger toward Rohan on.

After the video went viral, Marely spoke out, saying she wasn’t happy the way her comments were covered in the media. She specifically called out the Shade Room for only clipping her talking about her dad. In a post, she clarified her comments.

“Jesus Christ,” she wrote. “The discussion that I had was a larger conversation about a certain trauma that I experienced from a lack of unity in the household. This is nothing new. This is commonplace for many people & I’m glad so many of you were about to resonate with the healing that I speak of. But please do not go bashing my parents right now — especially my father. I never said I did not love him. I said that their shortcomings created trauma that I now need to consciously and actively heal from.”

In the wake of his daughter’s comments, Rohan has been sharing family photos, including some shared by his other children. Marley deleted the video and did a live video talking more on the topic.

Hill rose to superstardom in the ‘90s with The Fugees, one of the most celebrated hip-hop groups, and her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill had record-breaking sales. However, she became associated with drama, infighting with The Fugees (and personal drama with Wyclef Jean), unpaid taxes that led to a three-month jail sentence, claims she stole music and, in later years, being late for shows. She’s also been largely reclusive.

Hill’s relationship with Rohan was over in 2011, which only became public because she welcomed a sixth child and publicly denied the child was Rohan’s.

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