Why Did Katt Williams Emancipate Himself From His Parents at Age 13?

Melissa Willets - Author

Jan. 8 2024, Published 11:06 a.m. ET

Katt Williams wearing a hat
Source: Getty Images

Fans may know that Katt Williams has adopted kids.

Less is known about the outspoken comedian — who even says he's "one of the richest men that ever lived" — and his early life.

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It turns out that Katt emancipated himself from his parents, John Cornell Williams and Brenda Louise, at a very young age. He opened up about the decision, and how he never regretted it, while speaking to Shannon Sharpe in a now-viral interview.

Read on to find out what Katt said about the "altercation" that led him to leave.

Katt Williams wearing a University of Miami hoodie
Source: Getty Images
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Why did Katt Williams choose to leave his parents and home at age 13?

While speaking to Shannon on Club Shay Shay in January 2024, the Friday After Next star explained how he decided to leave Dayton, Ohio, and head to Florida on his own — at the tender age of 13 — after an "altercation" with his dad.

Katt shockingly shared that in his last interaction with his dad, "somebody could have not made it and we both understood that was all bad."

While the actor didn't say exactly what the disagreement was about, he said that his family is very religious, and that led to them not accepting who he was and what he wanted to do with his life.

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Katt expounded that he and his father "were two men at it." Katt said that at that time, he realized that he and his father "cannot sleep comfortably" around each other.

The comic left and ended up living on the streets in South Florida for years.

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What was Katt Williams's life like once he moved out?

Per Medium, Katt was homeless for four years. He made money performing and selling magazines. He also made money in illegal ways.

While life on the streets couldn't have been easy, ultimately Katt told Shannon in their wide-ranging conversation that he learned a very valuable lesson during that time.

While talking about being homeless in Miami, and living in a park, Katt told Shannon, "I couldn't buy a house if I wanted to. I couldn't get an apartment if I wanted to. I don't have a credit history."

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Katt also shared that he would go to a nearby library for eight hours a day to improve his education, but admitted to stealing car radios almost daily.

Still, he told Shannon that leaving home and being on his own "saved my life."

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The gritty experience showed Katt that doing any kind of drug leads and making bad decisions can result in losing your spouse, job, reputation, and home.

"Talk about scared straight!" Katt proclaimed to Shannon, going on to explain that he would never touch drugs after seeing how they ruin folks' lives.

"Anything that takes away your free will is the devil itself," the star said, which is a quote that resonated with hundreds of fans who saw the interview.

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