Hey, fam, I'm Jada Pinkett Smith, and this is the Red Tablecloth podcast, all your favorite episodes from the Facebook Watch show in audio produced by Westbrooke Audio and I Heart Radio. Please don't forget to write and review on Apple podcasts. Hello, RTT Family.
This particular red table talk is about a subject matter that is rarely talked about and that is the sexual abuse of young boys. Headlines keep coming. Priests, pop stars, even the Boy Scouts. Every new accusation of sexual abuse exposes a hidden epidemic that touches our young boys and leaves them suffering in silence. Just days ago, Carmen, the multitalented Oscar winner, courageously revealed a painful experience he had repressed for years of being molested by a family friend as a young boy.
I want people to be like, man, I have no obvious prejudice and I can say something about it if I find out how to heal myself. And a lot of people are afraid to talk about it, but the only way we stop the cycle is to talk about it. So that's why I chose to say so.
And when a friend told me about a courageous NBA player who was revealing a trauma from his childhood, I knew he needed to hear a story at the red table. Let's do it. One of the reasons why this particular show was really important to me is because how many men told me really men that you knew personally?
Yes, if I think about the list of 20 men in my own life, really, they'll be like four or five out of 20 that have been sexually abused. I mean, even to the extreme of rape.
So over the years, I've been really shocked at how common it is.
Most men won't report it. They will come out and talk about it. Such a secretive matter. Do it in.
The red tape is a former NBA player, Can Duling, who for a very long time had kept a deep secret in twenty twelve Chaon doing at a picture perfect life with a beautiful wife and four adorable kids. He was starting his 12th year as an NBA player and I just signed a new one point four million dollar contract with the Boston Celtics. He played for the legendary NBA championship coach Doc Rivers, and his best friends were his teammates, all star point guard Rajon Rondo and a young rising star, Avery Bradley.
The Celtics have become a second family ourselves.
The Culture Wars was just it was extremely tight. We were a family about charisma.
He was a very intelligent, articulate guy who was kind of more like a mentor, a big brother to me. Our families were close. Our kids play together.
Me and Keon instantly just had like a special relationship. He was like older brother for me.
Avery invited me on to Seattle for a charity event. But afterwards, his life took a dark and drastic turn.
After the event, he have an incident with someone in the back room and us having to stop him. I calm him down and this is kind of where everything started.
I was in the bathroom. A drunk man grabbed his behind and Kion snapped.
We walked outside and we happened to see the guy that I saw in the restroom and he started choking up to calm Kion down. I just held him tight, told him it wasn't worth it.
From that day on, his teammates say he became someone they didn't recognize. He came back from Seattle.
When we kind of had a gathering at the house, I started to see the difference and it changed there. He kept talking about how we all need to repent and ask for forgiveness. God is coming soon. And I was definitely worried.
A few days later on went to the Celtics gym and brought his little boy, K.J. with him.
Guys were playing pick up on the court at the time and he went on the corner, stopped the pickup game and took the ball. And so everybody was like, man, what's wrong with here?
And I remember him saying that he wanted to give his contract. He didn't he didn't want to play anymore.
I got a call from my assistant, Emery. You need to hurry up and get here. Keon is having a meltdown. And so when I pull up at the facility, the door bust open and it's KION in his shorts and no shirt coat outside. And he hugged me, but he hugged me tight and hard. And for a long time he was literally talking about Illuminati's evil. God, he wasn't making a lot of sense.
I wanted to get his son away because he still was acting a little bit different.
And I remember Rondo grabbing his son Jay and and me driving him home. I was like, man, this isn't my brother. You know, I have no no idea what went wrong for him to just snap memory calls me and tells me they put them in a mental institution.
I just jumped in the car. Then I went to see care. And when I pull into this facility, you ever see One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? It was worse. I said, you don't belong here. What's going on here? And that's when he opened up about what happened, that he was abused sexually abuse. He said, I must have blocked it out of my mind all these years. And somehow it came pouring out of me.
I thought he was in trouble and to watch what he went through, I don't think he'll ever understand the fear of all the people who are. Wow. How does that make you feel? Well, a lot of emotions, I feel supported.
I feel loved.
And I also feel like a man who was in the battlefield and my brothers didn't just leave me there.
Yeah. That prove to me that man, my folks got love for me. Yeah. Yeah. So I was very happy about that. Also, during PTSD, you don't remember everything you experienced.
And that's a very difficult place to be for me as a man, to say, hey, I don't remember some of those things that happened during those times. And so to hear the different perspectives, you know, kind of really brings a full circle to me as well.
Can you take us back to the beginning? Can you take us back to the actual incident? Yes, I can.
I can. So it was a rainy day, South Florida in the summer. My friend and I, we were at one of my brother's friend's house and we've been there before. We've hung out there before, played the video game. But this day it was different.
This day he put porn on, OK? And that was really to me, you know, a part of the grooming.
You know, when you're young, you're curious. You don't really know what to expect, but you also know that you're a human being so important and kind of grabbed your attention.
Yeah. And as that whole process went on, you know. You know. Oh, it's always tough to talk about, but that was a that was a point where, you know, he first orally raped me, got it. You know, and then. Yeah, and I remember running out of there, going home and jumping in the shower. I got my bike, I threw it down. I took my handlebars off. I taped up a knife.
And, you know, I put my handlebars back together and it kind of started running with a knife calendar with me.
How old were you? I was seven years old. I got it. I was seven years old at the time. And how old was he at the time? He he had to be about 15, 16 years old, that it wasn't an isolated incident. Yeah, that that was an isolated incident. Right. And you never told anyone.
Never told anyone? I didn't tell my mom. I didn't tell anybody. What was it that made you not tell anyone?
Fear. There was a fear of me telling my pops that I was touched by a boy. Right. Right. You know, and that dynamic, those conversations aren't necessarily had. Yeah. You know, in a healthy way. Right.
And then there's a there's a fear that comes along with telling your protectors out of fear of what they might do, how would they retaliate and what what the repercussions would have been for them.
Yes. Did you still have to see this person? Yes.
Yeah. Yeah, I had to see him quite a bit.
Did it ever make you question, like, your sexuality? Right. Question. Just your just.
Yeah, I think you have to you have to, you know, ask yourself questions in order to try to wrap your mind around it.
So, you know, the first question is, what was it in me that they saw that had happened to me? Right. You know, was this some type of, you know, energy that I was giving off?
So a lot of times, you know, I blame myself. My dad, he called me slippin. What was I doing there?
Also, you questioning your toughness, you know, you questioning your masculine energy because I wasn't strong enough to fight them off. Right. And so I blame myself for years.
So you were only seven. Do you remember whether you noticed in yourself any kind of change in behavior that you can recall now because you wouldn't have recognized it then?
Yeah, it made me angry. Oh, you know, I went from being, you know, happy go lucky to you know, if I didn't get my way, I might, you know, throw bottles on the basketball court, nobody playing. And they started smoking. They really started drinking very early. I became more promiscuous really early age. I got to prove to myself that this wasn't real. So I got to go chase as many girls as our potential, like, you know, so it made me very promiscuous.
Did you ever confront your abuser?
No, I never got that opportunity to confront him or get that, you know, justice. A lot of times when you abuse, you might not get justice, but I think you've got to get healing.
You know, I think they're both important. Yes. But for me, the track that I chose was the healing track. And so the first person I told about it was my wife. And then I told Doc about it.
How did she react? Oh, it was tough. Yeah. She was just so disappointed that, you know, I didn't tell her. Yeah. From my perspective, you know, I thought she would look at me as less than a man, you know.
So there was some fear associated with that also, you know, just being in a very masculine industry.
You know, how would the guys perceive that I've been, you know, sexually abused at the hands of a teenage man? Right. Right.
So there was a lot of, you know, doubt and insecurities and confliction within me during that time.
Why we don't always think about how sexual abuse affects a survivor's loved one. But Killian's wife, Tasha, has been dealing with this trauma as well.
Can and his wife Tasha were high school sweethearts. I met Khan at a football game and he was 16 years old. I like that he was funny and he was caring. We went to all the events together from we were at the homecoming together. You can pull those apart.
At just 20 years old, the Doolan's began their life together. They got married, started a family and watch Karen's dream of joining the NBA come true. When he was drafted in the first round, they had a happy life until the incident in the bathroom.
Outthinking on came back from zero, he changed. A lot, and he was acting weird. He see things that we didn't see, you know, he thought people was out to get him. One day my daughter Gabby ran upstairs and she was like, Mommy, Mommy, Daddy is in the street and cars are coming and they're blowing at him. And I'm just like, what? So one of the neighbors saw Keun in the street and they called the police.
The police came and it was a whole bunch of bodies. And I'm just like, oh, my God, they knocking and banging on the door. They had a guns and they handcuffed him on the floor. And I was just like, is he having a mental breakdown? I said, yes. He was like, we have to take him because he can't be around the kids to follow the police car to the hospital.
And when she got there. It broke my heart because he didn't know who I was.
I was like, I'm not al Qaeda, I'm your wife. He said, Are you sure? I said, Yeah. And so he said, Well then who am I? I said, You can do it. I said, We have four kids. And that was really hard, and I knew I couldn't take him back around the kids until he got better. Senator, a mental institution, and that was hard to do.
It wasn't until the next day Tasha was allowed to visit him.
That mental hospital was really honestly like a horror movie, like something that I see an awful film. It was it was really scary when I got in to see him, just like had his hand behind his head laying on a bed. And I just got in a bed and laid next to him. They told me that he was molested and that he cheated.
And I'm just like, OK, can I, like, wait to you thirty five to tell me this? And then on top of that you tell me you can't eat it.
So now I have to not only, like, help you get out of here, I got to help you get out of here knowing that you cheated on me.
I wanted to say, OK, wait a minute. You were sleeping with help them come help you get out. And that's what I really wanted to say. But I could not leave my husband in the hospital. I think I went through every emotion that you could possibly go through at that time.
I was hurt and I still feel rage. I'm surprised I'm able to see here. Wow. You still feel rage about, oh, just just like when I think about certain things, you know, like if I'm bowling his underwear, you know, stuff like, you know, just little things.
Like you just sometimes you don't think about it and you just start thinking and you get angry.
So, you know, I just had to get him out of here first, then deal with all that. Yeah. All that other stuff. So finally, when I got him out, then he got well, then I had to deal with what I was going through because I felt like he was getting worse. There seemed like every time I went there, they was doping him up. That's what I was going to ask.
Were they. Was he on medication? Yeah, it was on medication. And I just felt like it was really like a bomb worse. And I was just like, if I don't get my husband out of here, I'm a loser.
Have you been able to grasp what he was dealing with that could lead to lead to the adultery?
I mean, and that and the problem is, I didn't understand it at first. But you do now. I do now.
It is really tough to even think about, you know what I mean? But it wasn't about me. Not in the least. Mm hmm. I can't be fault for what he did. And that's what I had to tell my son. Yeah. You feel like that.
That's kind of your anger is kind of smooth out.
It is. Is more than it has to work for. Babies.
I just got a beautiful. Oh, yes. Since I was a kid and all the work that he's. Yes, I'm little proud of him. I am so proud of just that. Oh yeah.
We just really had to revamp it, read like learn, learn each other differently and learn each other's love language, how to communicate also.
Where are you. Well. Work, yes, yes, yes, yes, you have.
I was so impressed, I'm trying to grow old with my family, so I just think Tarsha for being honorable enough. This process has allowed me to hit levels of love that I didn't know I was so capable of.
As difficult as this time has been for you guys, it's been a blessing. It has been, you know, because you're all better for it. Yes.
You know, sometimes like the best part about your life, maybe sometimes the most darkest thing that might, you know, you might be ashamed of.
And I just knew I couldn't get stuck in another story of somebody who just lost his mind and then disappeared. And I had a redemption story to tell that part.
Well, you know, I also have to say, you know, as far as I'm proud of the community that has surrounded you and supported you and we got a message from some some awesome folks.
Yeah. And it's been it's been a journey. I'm very proud of the man you've become. And I appreciate the brother you've been for me in my entire life. Thank you for helping me become not only a better basketball player, better a better person.
You are a leader of men. You're an important figure in all our lives.
I know that Dak has been like one of your number one, your number one supporter. Yeah, Doc Doc Rivers. But he has more to tell you.
OK, yeah. So. No, oh, oh, just first, a brother. How are you doing, all right. Oh, I'm doing great. So I got to show you this. You didn't get to see this. Oh, my God, I had to get it.
Oh, buthe was our team manager. Yeah. That gave us when I was with the Celtics.
And it goes in order to me to be all that I could be. I need you to be all you can be so that we could be all that we could be an African word.
And so like that's something that just really, really, you know, resonated with me and made mean the fact that you showed up for me, man, you leave me going.
You know, you used to you saw me, you know, through, you know, that experience, man. It just is life changing for me.
So I just, you know, you know, I love you, love you. Always touch just she was like the Silent Night Warrior, you know, you really were like, it's amazing.
And everyone always says what you were going through. And I remember telling them they tell is going through, you know, she's got the kids.
And when that call came, I swear I was on a golf course and I don't walk off the golf course.
Just anybody I ran like I was like, no, this is me. You would hear me when you were struggling. You know, we all became sad, like as a group, our team and I did. And, you know, we go back to that the one day when I worked in that mental institution that, you know, I told you later, I was like the first thing I thought was this man, you don't belong here, right?
Like, we're getting him out of here.
That's why that I really have a lot of admiration for you as well, because you really saw this young man in trouble and you really did what you could. So we were letting him go.
But then, you know. Right. Well, I'll be I'll be frank with you. There's times there's there's people in your life. You do let go. Yes, there are. There really are. Yeah. But he wasn't one of you know, you just I just don't I know, like, there's no way we're going to let him go. What was it about him, his soul, your spirit. He was you know, you hate to say a good one just is such a good human being.
And this was a guy worth saving. And I do think your relationship with the players. Yeah, it was the help. I mean, Rondo and all those guys, you know, Rondo could be a pain in the butt and you know that. Am I right? I can neither confirm, deny. But having said that, when this happened, Rondo was on top of it.
So it's funny how like that helped me with Rondo because all of a sudden they're like, wait a minute, Rondo is a great do you know people think athletes are perfect, but we have problems just like everybody else.
That's why we, like, come in here at the red tape. I'm hoping that we can create more vulnerable space for our men. Oh, yeah.
You know, because it's the vulnerability as well that that that nurtures the strength.
And we don't talk. No. You come home from practice and what you do today, nothing.
Right. You know what's going on? Nothing. Right. It's just who we are, I guess. I don't know. And when we do, we do feel better about it, but we just don't share. I'm guilty of that as much as anybody. I just don't I yeah.
I just think it's a man thing, unfortunately. That's why we carry wallets.
You guys carry your yogurt all up. We don't carry much. We can tell you about it. And so we don't we don't go to therapy. No, black man, I don't want to go to the dentist right now. And it's like we don't trust, we don't trust, we don't trust doctors. To try to get an athlete to a therapist is brutal. It's hard because to them it's it's a sign of weakness and you can't show weakness.
The thing that I realized when I went to therapy, it was like a physical relief, like weight went off my shoulders. Now my personality was different. Sometimes I was like pop because I was mad up in their eyes. Sometimes I was hopeless like that. But I went through all those different emotions, drop that baggage off. I'm telling you, there's so many guys carrying the whole life experience around with them. And if they really want to soar, they've got to get rid of some of that emotional baggage so that they can just saw that unload.
I was really grateful that I had a lot of male friends that share the experiences with me because I was as strict of where my boys were staying, where they were going as I was with my girl, because I had heard enough stories to know that it was a reality that your boys could be victimized. They came, oh, yeah, yeah.
I look at my kids, they're all athletes. They have all been on road trips. Anything could have happened and we would have never known.
Yeah, we make everything so taboo that, yes, you know, it creates a problem. That's why people don't talk about it. Yeah, well, we're changing that. You touched a lot of people, man.
Man things you really did. You allowed me to. You powered me. Yeah. Well, you and. I me to have a voice, you know, you set me right next to Rondeau, you know, one time you called me out in the locker room and you told a guy, look at him. I look back like, who, me?
Look at him. He's totally giving himself to the team. And it was Rondo, it was CGY was Paul Pierce. It was real. And all these guys in the locker room and you said, look at him and you just empower me like no other man. So I'm always grateful for that.
We really appreciate having had the opportunity to sit with you guys. Thank you for having this. Seriously. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Soldier Right. To join the red table, talk family and become a part of the conversation, follow us at Facebook. Dot com slash red tabletop. Thanks for listening to this episode of Red Tape or Talk podcast produced by Facebook. Watch Westbrooke Audio and I Heart Radio.