Jada Pinkett Smith, who has been quite vocal and open about her own struggles with alopecia couldn’t hold back her tears when she had a chat with the bereaved mother whose daughter committed suicide.
On Wednesday’s episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith, 50, along with her daughter Willow Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, sit down with Niki Ball, the mother of a 12-year-old daughter who also suffered from alopecia.
Ball’s daughter Rio was severely bullied over her hair loss and died by suicide in March.
“With the hair loss, she was so strong,” Ball says of Rio in this exclusive clip from the episode.
“She still rocked it even when it was falling out, and she just had these big bald patches. Tried the creams. They made her break out. Tried the injections, she took five of them in one day. But neither of them really did anything.”
“The kids at school called Rio a “naked mole rat,” a “bug-eyed alien” and “Mr. and Mrs. Clean,” she adds.
“ Three weeks before her death, Rio “had a really bad day” at school and “just lost it” when she got in the car to go home. “I knew this was very serious,” Ball says.
On March 14, 2022, Rio died by suicide. Ball says it “was the worst day of my life.”
As Pinkett Smith cries along with Ball, she tells her that Rio’s story is one of the reasons why people “need an understanding around the devastation of this condition.”