Three years ago, boxing legend Muhammad Ali left the world in a state of mourning when he died.
The world may have lost an icon on that day in June 2016 but for Laila, she lost a father and three years down the line, she is opening up about the things she misses about her late father.
The 41-year-old in a chat with Hollywood Life revealed that she misses the simple things about her dad.
The Home Made Simple host said:
“I miss my father. I just miss his touch, you know. I miss the smell of his skin, the feel of his hair, his energy. He just always had this warm, strong, bright energy whenever he was around, even though he had Parkinson’s and he didn’t really speak that much.”
“You miss being able to just give your dad a hug and kissing him on his cheek,” Laila goes on to say about her late father. “Looking him in his eyes… But one thing that always gives me comfort is knowing that my father is in a better place and he’s happy again. He’s no longer struggling with Parkinson’s. So, anytime I have a sad feeling and I miss him – of course I accept that I’m having those feelings – I have happy thoughts about him and I’m happy that he’s moved on and he’s free.”
When it comes to the man that she knew in private, the mom-of-two says that one thing his fans may not know is that her dad “used to cry often.”
“I remember growing up, my father used to cry,” she says. “You would think you don’t want to cry in front of your kids, but he used to cry regularly. And he’d say, ‘No, no, I’m not sad.’ We’d say, ‘Daddy, why are you crying?’ You know, you’re 5-years-old and your dad is crying. But he’d say, ‘I’m crying because I’m happy…’ He’d just have tears of joy.”
“He was highly sensitive, but it was a gift. And he would see us happy, see us having a good time and it would just bring him to tears. So, he was very loving, he loved children and he loved always to put other people first. He would give you the shirt off his back, literally give you [the] last money in his bank account. He literally did that a couple of times… My mom was like, ‘We went bankrupt because your dad gave all the money away’… to causes and things like that. He always put himself before others.”
The legendary athlete had nine children before his death, seven daughters and two sons. Laila is his youngest daughter.
As fans of Ali would know, the sports hero was diagnosed with having the neurodegenerative disease in 1984, which over the decades made speech difficult and left him shaky.