Nick Cannon is defending his approach to having a family, including his parenting presence and various relationships.
The TV host, rapper and actor recently spoke to Men’s Health and opened up about the public criticism around him being a father to eight children with five women. That includes his first two kids, twins Moroccan and Monroe, with global superstar Mariah Carey.
“I’ve seen where people believe a traditional household works, and [yet] there’s a lot of toxicity in that setting,” he told the magazine. “It’s not about what society deems is right. It’s like, what makes it right for you? What brings your happiness? What allows you to have joy and how you define family? We all define family in so many different ways.”
Cannon later “dismisses the idea,” according to writer and author Mychal Denzel Smith, that “he would be treated differently if he were a woman with eight kids by five different men,” instead attributing his treatment and “wide acceptance” to him leaning into who he is.
The comedian and father also said that he loves his children and “the people that I’m involved with,” and that when it comes to having more children or stopping now, these are questions he isn’t thinking about.
“People even often ask, ‘Are you gonna have more, you gonna stop?’ I’m like, those are questions that I don’t, I don’t really even sit around and think about,” he said. “I’m just walking in my purpose and trying to be the best father and best provider I could possibly be.”
The multihyphenate goes on to defend his involvement in his children’s life, noting that despite having a larger family, his lack of a traditional nine-to-five job ensures that as both a high-level earner and someone with schedule flexibility, he can be there for his children.
“Contrary to popular belief, I’m probably engaged throughout my children’s day, more often than the average adult can be,” he said. “If I’m not physically in the same city with my kids, I’m talking to them before they go to school via FaceTime and stuff.”
“And then when I am [in the same city, I’m] driving my kids to school, like making sure I pick ’em up,” he continued.”All of those things, making sure [I’m there for] all extracurricular activities. I’m involved in everything from coaching to having guitar lessons with my daughter every week.”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.