Maya Jama has discussed the guilt she felt after telling police officers that her father was hiding under a bed in their home when they came looking for him.
The TV and radio presenter, 25, spoke to promoter Eddie Hearn on his BBC Sounds podcast No Passion No Point, about her upbringing and rise to success.
Discussing the incident during their chat, Maya told how she felt responsible for her father going to prison for around a year because she revealed where he was hiding.
Candid: Maya Jama has discussed the guilt she felt after telling police officers that her father was hiding under a bed in their home when they came looking for him
Reflecting on how she felt about her childhood, she said: ‘It’s normal. If you don’t know anything else when you’re younger than that’s just your normal.
‘You’re told to tell the truth to police and stuff, so when he was hiding under the bed I thought I was the reason he went to jail for the first year because I told them he was hiding under the bed like they weren’t going to find him anyway.’
Eddie quizzed Maya on how it made her feel that her upbringing was different to the other kids at her school and she said:
‘I didn’t really notice any difference until maybe secondary school when I started going to other people’s houses, they’d have a different set up and their dads were really involved but mine I had to visit two hours down the motorway.’
‘It didn’t really feel like too much of a problem because I have a really nice stepdad, he and my mum have been together for like 19 years now and he filled that void and my dad’s side of the family like my aunties were really supportive.’
TV personality: The TV and radio presenter, 25, spoke to promoter Eddie Hearn on his BBC Sounds podcast No Passion No Point, about her upbringing and rise to success (pictured in 2014)
‘So they overcompensated for things I would lack in not having my dad around. My mum used to babysit a lot of the boys in area so they grew up and got really protective so I had like a million dads, which made me feel like I wasn’t missing out too much I think.’
Maya described her childhood in Bristol as like growing up on an episode of Skins, and explained that she went to parties and met people as preparation for the career she wanted to forge after school.
She said: ‘My life was carefree considering the bleurgh what was going around it, so I had a good time as a young teenager, then things got a bit serious at 16 but I had to move to London anyway because all of my auditions were there.’
In the past: Discussing the incident during their chat, Maya told how she felt responsible for her father going to prison for around a year because she revealed where he was hiding
Maya also touched on the death of her teenage boyfriend, who was fatally shot just before she decided to make the move to London where he lived.
She said: ‘I basically had my auditions there and I had a boyfriend in London at the time, he passed away in the summer holidays before I was due to move there. I was up and down because it was obviously traumatic.’
‘Then I just decided to carry on with my plans and move there and do everything I wanted to do before he passed, it was a huge motivation and I’ve said this before but it was huge reality check, it was like what?’
Explaining that it really put things into perspective for her, she said: ‘When you’re 16 it’s a fairytale and things are fun and innocent and then somebody dies, but then it’s like not fun and games anymore. So that made me grow up a lot, I think that’s why everyone thinks I’m like 30+ not 25.’
As Maya’s star continues to rise she has enjoyed presenting gigs on BBCR1 and BBC Saturday night show Peter Crouch’s Save Our Summer.
Eddie asked her whether she feels institutionalised appearing on ‘family friendly’ TV compared to her wild Instagram antics.
He asked her whether she ‘cares’ what people think, and she said: ‘I used to, in this industry people tell you how they want you to be, but in my career so far I’ve fed into the mould and then I get frustrated and it feels like what am I doing? if I can’t just be myself. I’ll have these rebellious moments where I’ll swear online and it makes me feel like I’m more in control of things.
‘I can’t go on BBC1 and say cling cling mother f****r, I did try a couple of times. If I’m on panel shows too, these things aren’t live as well so they won’t just let you go awol. I will tone myself down in different environments.
‘Its the same people who ask me when I’m on shows, but I wouldn’t just go and swear in front of someone’s mum that I didn’t know. So it’s the same for TV and radio where kids will be watching and start being sweary malery.’
Reflecting on how she felt about her childhood, she said: ‘It’s normal. If you don’t know anything else when you’re younger than that’s just your normal’