Mathew Knowles: ‘I can say I have never in my life hit my daughter’

I have a slightly controversial opinion/theory: Angelina Jolie and Beyonce are the same in one vital way, in that their fathers are emotionally abusive douchebags. Whenever I hear Mathew Knowles speak, I’m reminded of Jon Voight’s constant talk about Angelina. Mathew Knowles and Voight are cut from the same cloth when it comes to wanting to be included in their daughters’ lives and wanting to passive-aggressively control them. Anyway, Mathew Knowles is talking. He loves to pretend that he’s still an important part of Beyonce’s empire and life, like he was when he managed her.

Beyonce’s Lemonade featured several references to Mathew being an abusive cheater, as well as references to cycles of abuse and cycles of infidelity and distrust within relationships and many people interpreted that as “Beyonce is finally getting back at Mathew.” Well, Mathew is talking. And he wants you to know that he never hit Beyonce.

Prior to belting out the track “Daddy Lessons,” Beyoncé, 34, reads a few lines written by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire: “Did he convince you that he was God? … Are you a slave to the back of his hand? Am I talking about your husband or your father?” According to Mathew, the track isn’t about him.

“I can say I have never in my life hit my daughter,” Mathew said. “So she has never been a slave to the back of my hand because I didn’t believe in that.”

[From Us Weekly]

Physical abuse is not the only kind of abuse. And while Beyonce may or may not have been making a reference to Mathew abusing her, I do believe that she was making multiple references to how her father mistreated and disrespected her mother, and Beyonce was acknowledging how that carried into the next generation.

E! News also asked Mathew about the Becky/side chick lyrics, and he said: “Let me tell you who she’s talking about, can I tell you who she’s talking about? She’s talking about you. You put that in context for you personally. She’s talking about you and everybody that is you, that’s who she’s talking about.” He’s also said that he’s very proud of Beyonce’s Lemonade and he thinks it’s her best album.

Last thing: Page Six had a story in which “insiders” insisted that Beyonce was not calling out one specific “Becky”. One person said: “I don’t think Beyoncé is calling out one girl. It is many girls. The rumors have been around for years.” But apparently Beyonce is talking about some infidelity drama from years ago, because the insiders insist that ever since Blue Ivy came into the world, Jay “is now a great husband.”

Photos courtesy of WENN, Getty.

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79 Responses to “Mathew Knowles: ‘I can say I have never in my life hit my daughter’”

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  1. farah says:

    She admitted, he made her run in heels when she was 14 to learn how to sing and dance simultaneously.

    Stage parents are the worst.

  2. MCraw says:

    Taylor Swift effect: now every singer is singing about her life in detail. These twatters really are taking the fun out of things taking it all so literally.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Honestly? People have been writing plays, poetry, songs and sonnets about their lives since time began. But Taylor Swift invented it. Ok.

      • Mimz says:

        People are seriously losing it, trying to find ways to bash women. Both Taylor and Beyoncé.
        And they forget that since the beginning of times, people wrote, composed songs, poetry etc based on their true life experiences. But no, Beyoncé must be copying Taylor because she’s such a masterful writer, right, GNAT? -_-

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Like the world began 10 years ago. It’s scary.

      • Josefina says:

        Well no she didn’t invent it but she showed blind ítem songs are incredibly profitable in today’s media, and Beyonce, being the great business woman she is, might have taken a note or two from that. Everyone knows about Lemonade because of the “Becky” gossip. Free publicity.

        Im not saying she copied her, but this whole Becky crap is the same blind ítem about personal affairs crap Taylor pulls álbum after álbum. The Beyhive is trying to pass it for revolutionary art, but Beyonce is far too much a comercial pop star for that. It’s just a comercial strategy. Beyonce wants to sell her álbum. And thats fine. But dont try to suddenly pass Beyonce as this different and edgy artiste because she’s not and she’s never been.

      • doofus says:

        “she showed blind ítem songs are incredibly profitable in today’s media”

        I’m going to credit Carly Simon with that. “You’re so vain” is prob one of the first “blind item” songs, eh?

      • Josefina says:


        Yeah but social media want around by then and Carly doesnt have a tenth of the fanbase Bey and Swift have.

      • Mimz says:

        Sorry I can’t take this seriously, if you are going to compare Taylor’s songs to Beyoncé. In this album she quite literally had one song with a big blind item, that might not even be a blind item. Taylor has obvious teen-drama infused videos and songs. And it’s a completely different demographic. And bey is a thirty-something year old singing about adult, real issues.
        Blind items songs have always existed, even before carly simon, in my opinion, every song is a blind item, if not for the person singing it, it is to the songwriter, so, there is no point in this discussion.

      • C says:

        There’s a blind item talking about Jay Z and Victoria Beckham 😳😳😳

      • MCraw says:

        GNAT, et al., get a grip. No, TS didn’t invent it, I’m talking about fans going on Twitter, Facebook and now CNN and thinking EVERY song a singer sings is literally about every detail of her life.

        There’s 56 writers on LEMONADE. Do you think it’s all blind items? What about Ring The Alarm and other heartbreak songs she’s written over the years? Why is this album received differently? Cuz all these kids on Twitter are used to TS style of songwriting and taking it all too seriously.

        Get over yourselves, please. You’re part of the problem I’m talking about.

      • MC2 says:

        +1 GNAT- I feel like lately whenever a song comes out that tells a story people yell “Taylor Swift!”
        Yeah- people write music & lyrics about their life & relationships. They still do and have been doing since the first pluck of a guitar string. This is so silly.
        I like that Taylor writes/co-writes her own songs & that she can actually play an instrument but thinking she invented writing songs about your romantic relationships?! Don’t give her that much credit.

        Update- Wow MCraw- sorry for peeing in your cheerios. You wrote a comment (that is popular round here) so people commented……Me thinks you are taking this all too seriously.

      • MCraw says:

        Me making my point clearer and questioning people’s logic and offense is akin to peeing in cereal? Ew.

        You haven’t responded to any point I made, so I’ll add another: how do we know this isn’t partly about her mom?

        I’m just saying this Taylor Swifting by the fans and others is silly.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        At this point, I’m of the belief that “Becky” isn’t a blind at all, but meant to encapsulate any and all side pieces – not any one person in particular. My guess is there was more than one Becky, so it couldn’t be just one woman she’s calling out.

    • Samtha says:

      Yeah, that darn Taylor Swift. Without her influence, Bob Dylan would never have created Blood on the Tracks, and Tori Amos wouldn’t have written Me and a Gun. There’d be no Jagged Little Pill or Joni Mitchell’s Blue…

      • V4Real says:

        But these artist wrote like one or two songs about their personal experience but Taylor has written many; practically a song for every guy she dated.

        And some people are coming down on Beyoncé because she has said many times she doesn’t discuss her personal life but now all of a sudden she’s an open book. There’s nothing wrong with creating buzz for your next project to make a profit but it makes her seem disingenuous. It reminds me of when she was trying to create buzz for her tour and hinted at Jay cheating on stage to get people talking and to sell tickets.

        I know people change their minds all the time but don’t throw your personal garbage out there just to make a buck unless it’s all a part of the plan. Don’t say you don’t talk about your private life then all of sudden it becomes national news and not expect people to call you on it. Prince said he doesn’t talk about his personal life and he never did.

      • Mimz says:

        But V4Real, like you said, people grow and change, and I think this is the way to do it. It’s not like she spoke about every single thing that happened in her life, maybe she wanted to let it out, maybe this is her expression. I’ll take this over some sugary pop song with happy thoughts, and no depth. I admire her more for putting it all out there, for all we know, she could have worked with any – ANY – hit maker and made a huge album, and even more successful than this one.
        At least she reclaimed her power back, rather than sticking to being the wife thats being cheated on and sitting in silence.

        I will take this over that Gwen and Blake orchestrated music/interviews about their divorce and milking it for all of us to see. In my eyes, comparing both situations side by side, I’ll take Beyonce’s approach every time. No names named.

      • V4Real says:

        @Mimz But how is she taking her power back? Taking her power back would be to divorce a cheating husband. She stayed in the marriage (business arrangement). She doesn’t have to speak about everything that happened in her life. Bey said she doesn’t talk about her marriage or personal relationship with Jay but that’s exactly what she’s doing. It’s not really about her changing her mind or growing, it’s about publicity and selling out tours and albums. They are a brand and they orchestrated this thing together. If she wanted to let people know about Jay why not just give an interview when there is nothing to promote.

        As for Blake and Gwen, at least they waited until they were separated or divorced before they threw their former spouses under the bus. And I don’t think either one of them have said that they don’t talk about their personal lives.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Ahem, whilst attending a Carly Simon concert, I learned more about Jesse Winchester’s bed and bathroom habits than I ever needed to know about anyone. All her songs are her life experiences. Same with Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Tori Amos, Aimee Mann and on and on and on

      • V4Real says:

        And none of these people are relevant due to the lack of social media and internet back then. These people didn’t claim to never speak about their marriage, personal relationships but then plaster images of their private life on IG and talk about their failing marriage. Nor did they spill the beans about their personal relationship at the perfect opportunity such as promoting a new album or starting a tour. They didn’t sucker you in by throwing little hints on a concert stage that their husband is cheating. Then turn around to say, oh no, everything is fine, here’s my loving supportive husband sitting front row at my concert. Thanks for falling for my creative act.

      • Samtha says:

        V4Real, those artists didn’t just write one or two songs about their personal experiences. That’s why I specifically picked those albums/artists as examples.

        People who don’t like Beyonce will go out of their way to find reasons to be negative, even to the point of ridiculousness. Look, I’ve never been a fan of hers, so I kind of get it. Until Lemonade, I thought she had mediocre talented but great marketing skills. Lemonade simply proved that isn’t true.

    • als says:

      It’s good you made this point because you gave me the opportunity to quote some of Taylor’s lyrics about her own life and experiences:

      “We are never ever ever getting back together/ You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me/ But we are never ever ever ever getting back together”
      ” ‘Cause, baby, now we got bad blood/ You know it used to be mad love/ So take a look what you’ve done/’Cause, baby, now we got bad blood”

      Such a work of art this Taylor!
      I think Beyonce and Warsan Shire stole from Taylor!!!!

      • joanne says:

        anyone remember the greatest blind of all time “you’re so vain” by Carly Simon?

      • Samtha says:

        To be fair, Bob Dylan wrote a song with these lyrics: wiggle, wiggle, like a bowl of soup/wiggle, wiggle like a rolling hoop. 😉

    • atrain says:

      I do agree that this is Taylor Swift-esque, but that’s not necessarily on Beyonce. Because we know Taylor writes very personal songs, now the listeners are trying to find the true meaning of every song out there. Beyonce could very well be referring to cycles of domestic violence in general, but we think she’s talking about her father. She doesn’t write her own music the way TS does, so I don’t think Beyonce songs are as autobiographical as everyone else seems to think.

      • MCraw says:

        Thank you for getting my point exactly. I’m not talking about Bey being like Taylor or others in songwriting, I’m talking about fan reaction, which Swifts fan base was trained to do, at assuming it’s all personal experience. That’s the Taylor Swift effect. Everyone reacts so quickly and literally they don’t take the time to think about what’s being said. This thread is a perfect example of that.

    • annaloo. says:

      WE really need a Duran Duran effect to come back . I mean these lyrics:

      The Reflex is an only child,
      he’s waiting by the park
      The Reflex is in charge of finding
      treasure in the dark
      And watching over lucky clover
      Isn’t that bizarre
      Every little thing the Reflex does
      leaves you answered with a question mark

      Like– WTF does that EVEN MEAN???

      And I loved it!

      • Magnoliarose says:

        Haha! So deep and such raw emotion. Lol

      • V4Real says:

        I freaking loved that song and had no clue what Simon was singing about.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        I never knew that’s what the words were. I couldn’t understand what Simon was saying. So, it’s the reflex is an only child. I thought the reflex was a lonely town. Who knew?

      • annaloo. says:

        At 13, my Dad asked me to explain these lyrics. You can imagine the dumb look I gave him

      • annaloo. says:

        @JenniferJustice – The Reflex COULD be a lonely town instead of an only child because every little thing the Reflex does leaves you answered with a question mark

  3. HeyThere! says:

    He’s so pathetic. Just because he didn’t punch Bey in the face, he’s not abusve?! STEP DOWN, loser dad.

    • MC2 says:

      Yep- I saw the title of the article, got out my white gloves & gave Mr. Knowles a slow, very slow, clap. Then I said “now get out of my sight you d-bag!”
      His statement just shows hoe utterly stupid & self centered he actually is. What a piece….

  4. Marty says:

    I think he was in the driver’s seat of her life and career for so long that when she finally broke free of him, he couldn’t handle it. He is a major a-hole.

    • Sixer says:

      See you next Tuesday was the euphemism that occurred to me! Nothing one of those hates more than a woman talking (or singing) to her sisters about his cnutly ways and finding a common experience. It’s an existential threat.

      BTW: my favourite thing about all this is that Warsan Shire is getting a bigger name stateside. I saw her at an English PEN event with Dzifa Benson a few years back and she was GREAT. As was Dzifa.

    • kri says:

      @Marty Oh my god. Warsan Shire…it will take my brain and soul forever to process her words. And I’m happy about that.

  5. Megan says:

    Taylor as a singer is pathetic, she literally shrieks in her songs with repeated ” i do” all over. Beyonce sings powerfully at least her personal life will be fun to listen to. But i agree , way over drama.

    • Hadleyb says:

      I think they are both pathetic, Beyonce running around acting like Tina Turner, thinking she IS Tina and dancing like she is having an epileptic attack. Taylor running around like her love life is a Jane Austin novel — over and over.

      Beyonce the drama queen even acting out when she lip syncs, pulling out her ear piece… Taylor the drama queen about her love life and how the media attacks her. Sniff.

      • Zip says:

        Haha, agree about Beys dancing style. Sometimes it looks okay but most times it’s just ridiculous.

      • Timbuktu says:

        I have to agree about dancing, too. I routinely find Beyonce’s choreography ridiculous and annoying.

  6. NewWester says:

    Matthew is supposed to have cheated on Beyonce’s mother Tina throughout their marriage. As a child growing up and observing her father cheating on her mother can be harmful.
    My own father never hit me, but finding out and seeing him cheat on my mother had the same effect as if he had “hit” me. Our relationship has never recovered from that.

    • WTW says:

      This is why I think it’s weird when people say that cheating men are good fathers but not good husbands. How can you be a good father if you’re treating your child’s mother horribly?

      • Magnoliarose says:

        I completely agree. You are cheating on your family not just your partner.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        It usually sends children on a trajectory of either being a cheater or accepting being cheated on. Father’s think as long as they physically treat their daughters well, they are good fathers. They don’t want to admit that they’re teaching their daughters what marrige is and most daughters marry someone like Daddy.

  7. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Kaiser pretty much said it all. Physical abusive is not the only kind of abuse.

  8. Lindy79 says:

    I agree, Becky isn’t one woman, more a culmination of all the women he allegedly cheated on her with so her fans need to take a seat and stop finding women to attack who may or may not be on that list.

  9. Alix says:

    “I can say it, it just doesn’t mean it’s true.”

  10. byland says:

    I agree with you, Kaiser. Matthew Knowles reeks of manipulative d-bag to me. The Jon Voight comparison is also very apt and one I’d never thought of, either. It’s very easy to see the similarities now that you’ve pointed it out. Way to parent, right? Talking to them through the press is how I always get my children to do what I want.

    Also, having been subjected to physical, mental, and emotional abuse by my mother as a child I feel like I can say that, to me at least, the mental and emotional abuse can sometimes be worse. It’s rare that an abuser will have the guts to haul off and hit you in the middle of a crowd (although that can, and does, happen), but it’s so very easy to sling an insult your way in a room full of people. You never know when the next blow is coming, figuratively speaking.

    Words also don’t leave marks that other people can see, so it’s easier to get away with that way as well. Bruises fade, but the scars of your parent telling you that you’ll never be enough can take years of therapy to clear away, if you ever manage it at all.

    I was so relieved when Beyonce announced that she was working with new management and I’m not a Beyonce stan in the least, despite the hometown connection. One less way for him to control her is always a good thing.

    • Caela says:

      Byland I’m so sorry to read that you went through that. I hope you are finding/found a way through. Sending you positive thoughts!

    • Magnoliarose says:

      You are right and it is good to speak out about your experiences. Words leave invisible scars that can last a lifetime.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I agree, mental and emotional abuse can sometimes be worse than physical abuse. You get hit, it hurts, then it doesn’t. It’s degrading and humiliating and shameful. But emotional abuse f–ks with your head. My mother’s go-to was to tell us kids that something was wrong with us and that we needed help. It’s not like she just said it and then went about her business. She said it and then launched into a tyrade about why there is something wrong us and pretty much seriously tried to convince us. It didn’t work with me. I’ve been smarter than her since I was a toddler and I have a strong personality, but my sister has always been a mess, is a severe alcoholic and was/is emotionally abusive to her own children and anybody she’s ever been in a relationship with. It’s a means of control – to bring them all down and make them feel like they need her because nobody else would love them – you know because there’s something wrong with them. Sick, I know.

  11. Jess says:

    He even looks like a controlling jerk, bet he hates not being involved in every aspect of her career anymore. I’m sure there are better ways to teach children to be performers, but he did produce a fantastic woman in Beyoncé, it’s just a shame part of that is because she had to overcome him.

  12. paolanqar says:

    His eyes and face scream a-hole.
    Eyes never lies they say.
    So true.

  13. Isa says:

    I haven’t got to listen to it yet, but could those lines be for her mother?
    Was beyonce’s mom hit by her dad and by Matthew?

    • says:

      The first thought I had. “You’ve never hit B. What about your wife?” His phrasing is so odd, so…. precise. Shouldn’t he have said that he has never hit anyone or never hit anyone in his family?

  14. DazLondon says:

    Who claims “i never beat my daughter” as an achievement of parenthood ???

  15. als says:

    I find the reactions to this album almost as interesting as the album itself. They are very telling.

  16. HK9 says:

    If his accomplishment is that he never hit her, he needs to realize that he didn’t set the bar for his own behaviour & parenting high enough.

  17. missmerry says:

    know what?
    I thought the line was “back of his head”
    as in, you’re always watching him walk away….

    does anybody know the source of the line?
    I’m assuming its a poem of someone elses she used…

  18. kri says:

    This is one of the reasons I connected with “Lemonade” and while watching it with my little sister, I could not look at her,,,, but I could hear her crying. I would NOT cry. But our father never hit us either. But the things he’d say to make us tougher, to get us ready…well. Let’s just say that sometimes I think men do this to their girls because they think it’s good for them. Sometimes I think I’m made of nothing but ice and fear. And I see my sisters with their own issues. The last time I saw my dad he said “I only ever tried to make you girls tough”. Yeah. We know. I see you Matthew. You think she’s who she is cause of you. And in a way that’s true. Just not the way you want it to be.

  19. Lama Bean says:

    I only have snark.

    1. Old pics remind me of Bey’s old face. Luckily her surgeries have been done very well (I’m looking at you KK) and enhance her look.

    2. Mathew Knowles is so self-absorbed and narcissistic. I just read about his entertainment industry seminar. Quite a humorous read but pitiful attempt at being relevant. Straight money grub.

  20. Jaana says:

    Well he never hit Beyoncè, but what about Solange? I read somewhere that he knocked her out cold once at a video shoot for Beyoncè. I think it was an excerpt from that unauthorized biography that came out not too long ago.

  21. Jaana says:

    Beyoncè has seen Matthew cheat on her mother over and over. He used to harass her dancers for sex and fire them when they refused. The girls would often go crying to Beyoncè. Dealing with that could not have been great for her mentally.

  22. KB says:

    Is that something to proudly declare? My dad never hit me. It seems like basic common decency for your father to not hit you.

  23. OTHER RENEE says:

    If we the public didn’t obsess over their lives 24/7, the so-called Taylor effect would be a non-issue. We’ve created the monster and people like Swift and Beyonce just feed it.

  24. Emily C. says:

    When someone makes that extremely specific claim of never having HIT someone, that’s usually because they’re trying to cover up for having physically abused them in another way. Not “just” emotionally abused. Hitting and “back of the hand” is not the only way to physically abuse someone.