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Toward the end of David Letterman’s interview with the 48-year-old rapper on the television host’s new Netflix series “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” Letterman, 70, brought up a sensitive topic both men had firsthand experience with: cheating on their wives.
In 2009, Letterman admitted he had been sexually involved with female staffers on his late night talk show and, after alluding to being unfaithful to his wife on the title track of “4:44,” Jay-Z spoke at length about his past infidelity during a 2017 interview with T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
During the interview, after Letterman discussed his own feelings of regret over his actions, he asked his guest, “if this rings a bell with you, the pain of ‘Have I done something now to blow up my family?'”
“Yeah,” the singer replied, adding that when he was growing up, young men his age didn’t have a lot of strong guidance for how to deal with their emotions in any capacity besides, “Be a man, stand up, don’t cry.”
Continuing, the rapper added, “I want to cry, I want to be open, I want to have the emotional tools that it takes to keep my family together.”
Explaining how the couple worked through the pain, Jay-Z credited his “beautiful wife” for understanding “that I’m not the worst of what I’ve done.”
“We did the hard work of going to therapy,” he continued. “We love each other. We put in the work.”
The father of three added that after all he and Beyoncé have been through together, he would “like to believe that we’re in a better place today, but still working, still communicating and growing.”
“I’m proud of the father and the husband I am today because of all of the work that I’ve done,” he added.
Jay-Z previously opened up about going to therapy, telling the T: The New York Times Style Magazine that he “grew so much from the experience.”
“But I think the most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it. Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at such a … you’re at such an advantage,” he added.
During the interview, Jay-Z also acknowledged that both he and his wife “were using our art almost like a therapy session” while recording their albums “Lemonade” and “4:44,” adding that hearing some of the albums’ deeply personal tracks was both painful and “very, very uncomfortable.”