No matter how old Zonnique Pullins gets, stepdad T.I. is always watching, worrying, and waiting to step in when he feels it necessary to be protective of his daughters. However, now that she’s 24, she says that he’s eased up — somewhat.
“Now that I’m a little older it’s gotten a little better for me. But he is definitely super overprotective,” she told site The Hollywood Life about his treatment of his girls, noting that she hopes he will lighten up when youngest daughter Heiress, 4. gets older. “I just hope that Heiress doesn’t get it is as bad as me and Deyjah. I always think that, like Heiress is going to have it the worst.”
Looking back on growing up with her mom and T.I., both in front of the camera and off, Zonnique said T.I. was always very vigilant, but only really with his girls. The double standard between treatment of the young ladies vs. the guys is not something she tried to sugarcoat, and it was publicly put on blast after T.I. revealed he was taking Deyjah to have her hymen checked while simultaneously laughing about younger son King losing his virginity.
“Since we were all younger he’s always been super protective over the girls. And it always seemed like the boys could just do whatever,” she said. “My mom will always argue, like, you don’t care that the boys go on dates, you let their girlfriends come over. You know we meet their girlfriends, it’s all cool it’s like a regular thing. But you know, if I’m in a relationship and I bring my boyfriend over, the whole family has to talk to him. He has to go outside with pops and have these hour long conversations.”
Zonnique has been dating rapper beau Badhunta Izzy, 23, since 2018, and revealed that the two actually live together now. He has built a good relationship with T.I., but she says the star is still keeping a watchful eye on her man.
“You know, this relationship is my most serious relationship, like I actually live with my boyfriend now and stuff like that. And both my parents actually seem to really like my boyfriend. But pops still pretty much does the same thing,” she said. “He still has to take him outside to talk for an hour or whatever. But I feel like my boyfriend now is kind of like his match. I feel like he sees a lot of his younger self in my boyfriend. So, even though he likes him, like he’s kind of always watching him with the side eye.”
T.I. spoke on his podcast earlier this year about how skeptical he really was of her boyfriend, relating his discomfort with their relationship to fellow rapper dad, Fabolous.
“With me, it’s f–k this ni–a ’til he show me otherwise. You dig what I’m saying?” he said on ExpedTIously. “I must say, the young man that she’s dealing with, he’s a cool cat. He’s a respectable young man. I even went so far as to check his background, where he’s from and his pedigree seems to come back without a tarnish. So I don’t have anything negative to say about him. However, I am uncomfortable of what may potentially transpire in the future. Now that’s my discomfort exclusively. I don’t share that discomfort with her or him. I try not to let my level of discomfort bleed over into their happiness. I just remain quietly uncomfortable, to myself [laughs].”
“I’ll admit this, they’ve lasted a lot longer than I expected, so at this point, I’m rooting for them to go all the way,” he added.