In a revealing new interview with David Letterman, Jay-Z opened up about what is now a heavily-trafficked topic: his rumoured infidelity. Beyoncé addressed it with Lemonade. Jay-Z himself addressed it on 4:44. He even sort of talked about it in an interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet. Speaking to David Letterman, though, Jay-Z was more frank than he had been in the past, possibly because Letterman had been in a similar situation years go.
"I have to be cautious how I articulate this, but a few years ago, I got myself into some trouble. And the situation was my responsibility, and my fault," Letterman began. In 2009, Letterman revealed on The Late Show that someone had tried to blackmail him using information regarding his relationship with his personal assistant Stephanie Birkitt. Birkitt's boyfriend Robert Halderman had tried use his knowledge of the affair to extort $2 million (£1.4 million) from Letterman. Letterman revealed all these details himself then proceeded to apologise to his wife, Regina Lasko, on-air. They are still together today.
"I never talked to a person who had been in that situation," Letterman told Jay-Z. "And I'm wondering if this rings a bell with you."
"Of course. Yeah," Jay-Z replied."“You know, for a lot of us, we don’t have — especially where I grew up, and men in general. We don’t have emotional cues from when we’re young." He added that, being emotionally constipated, it was hard for him to attend therapy to overcome his marital strife.
"I want to cry," he said. "I want to have the emotional tools it takes to keep my family together. And, much like you, I have a beautiful wife who was understanding and knew that I’m not the worst of what I’ve done...we did the hard work of going to therapy, and like really, we love each other."
In the same interview, Jay-Z addressed the rumoured tension in his relationship with Kanye West. West, Jay-Z explained, was like a little brother to him. And, little brothers can annoy you. Still, West is family, and that will never change.
"The thing that I respect about [Kanye West] is that he's the same person. Like, [when we first met] he interrupted our studio session, stood on a table and started rapping. And we were like, 'Could you please get down,' and he was like 'No, I'm the saviour of Chicago!'" Jay-Z recalled. "He didn't even have a record."