All About Jaleel White's Daughter Samaya White

Jaleel White shares a very close bond with his daughter Samaya

Published Time: 08.05.2024 - 22:31:13 Modified Time: 08.05.2024 - 22:31:13

Jaleel White shares a very close bond with his daughter Samaya.

The Family Matters actor welcomed his only child with ex-girlfriend Bridget Hardy in August 2009. Since then, the father-daughter duo have shared plenty of fun moments together, including beach days and a visit to the set of American Ninja Warrior (Samaya’s favorite show).

Samaya has also joined her father at a few red carpet events, including the 2019 premiere of Jumanji: The Next Level and the 2022 premiere of Hustle. At the latter, the father-daughter pair were also accompanied by White's now-wife Nicoletta Ruhl, whom he wed in May 2024.

Ever since Samaya's birth, White has taken his role as a girl dad very seriously. In a 2020 birthday tribute to his daughter, the actor admitted he "cried uncontrollably" when she was born. "I thank your spirit for choosing me to be your Dad," he added.

A few months later, he shared more about his parenting philosophy on Instagram, encouraging other parents to “talk to your kids” and “invite them to speak about what’s on their hearts.” White added, “#GirlDads teach your daughters yelling isn’t necessary to make your point ever. It’s okay to be accountable. Not enough fathers teach their daughters the power of owning up to mistakes and apologizing sincerely.”

From her first movie premiere to her love of sports, here’s everything to know about Jaleel White’s 14-year-old daughter Samaya.

White and Hardy welcomed their daughter Samaya on Aug. 15, 2009.

The former couple split when Samaya was 11 months old and ultimately agreed to a joint custody arrangement after a lengthy custody battle.

Though White is most known for his role as Steve Urkel on the ‘90s sitcom Family Matters, the actor has taken on a variety of other roles over the years. In an interview with Fox News in September 2019, White shared that he has continued to act because he wants to set a good example for his daughter.

“You get different motivating factors in your life, period. I think my biggest motivating factor right now is my daughter,” he said. “You got to provide an example for your kids. They watch you more than they listen to you.”

White added, “So, she sees me go to work, she sees me continuing to act, continue to endeavor, staying up late nights, writing, taking pitch meetings, traveling for my job. And those are the things that are going to instill a work ethic in her. So, I got to be her inspiration right now. And that's one of the things that keeps me steadfast.”

Samaya attended her first movie premiere in December 2019 when she walked the red carpet for Jumanji: The Next Level with her dad. White shared a series of photos from the premiere on Instagram, including shots of Samaya with cast members Danny Devito and Ser’Darius Blain.

“Take away from my baby’s 1st Premiere: A. #jumanji #jumanjithenextlevel is a must see! @kevinhart4real ‘s Danny Glover impersonation is JOKES 🤣🤣 B. She’s not a baby anymore 😢C. This Dad got #DiddyCropped for a legit bigger star 😒🤩#DannyDeVito,” he said in the caption. 

Samaya has a very close relationship with her dad, and the pair love to travel together. Over the years, they’ve visited Universal Orlando Resort and gone on ski trips with frien -


In August 2021, the father-daughter duo took an end-of-summer vacation to Miami. White shared a video of their trip on Instagram, in which he said they rode in a slingshot car and went bowling.

“Gave my baby a summer reading list 📚Told her if she finished all the books I would take her to Miami for the time of her life,” he wrote in the caption. “Welp 🤷🏽‍♂️She completed the reading and daddy delivered the time.”

In June 2021, Samaya graduated from elementary school. White celebrated the milestone event by posting a carousel of photos from her graduation and moments of them together throughout the school years. In the caption, he revealed that he drove Samaya to school every morning and that the “morning drive marks time like nothing else.”

“Back before CoVID she wanted no one else behind the wheel but me and today marked our final drive. As soon as she crossed that leg in the back seat of my car, I knew something had changed for good,” he said. “Middle school has arrived. My baby will always be my baby but as you can see, she’s not a baby anymore. Leap into your future, Samaya, be mindful and fearless. Thank you for choosing me to be your father.”

On April Fools Day in 2022, the then-12-year-old played a joke on White by wearing fake acrylic nails after the pair had discussed how she wasn’t allowed to wear the nail style. The actor shared his reaction on Instagram by posting photos and a video where his daughter could be seen laughing.

“So I decide to bring ice cream home as a surprise 🍨 I look down and see Ms. Seventh Grade has gotten herself a colorful array of video vixen acrylic nails 💅🏽 and we TALKED ABOUT THIS and how it was NOT allowed,” he explained. “I’m super chill about it. No yelling at all. I see her & my gal glancing at each other… these foolz have taped FAKE Acrylic nails to her fingernails just to see what I would do.”

Samaya and White have bonded over their mutual love of sports. While she and her dad often attend sports events together, including Los Angeles Dodgers and Golden State Warriors games, the teenager also plays a variety of sports. According to White’s Instagram, Samaya has played volleyball, softball, soccer and basketball.

White shared his excitement about his daughter enjoying sports in a post about the pair visiting the Kobe Bryant mural in Los Angeles in January 2021.

“Always thought I wanted a son until she arrived. She loves the game just the same if not more,” he wrote in the caption. “Friday nights have just been different during CoViD measures. Going on a Westside L.A. tour to see all the Kobe murals and grabbin’ some ice cream afterwards feels like an event during these times.”

For Samaya’s 13th birthday in 2022, White took her to see The Weeknd perform at Sofi Stadium in L.A. He shared a video from the concert on Instagram, which showed Samaya singing along to the singer’s hit track “Can’t Feel My Face” with a friend.

“One of the best parts of being a Dad is keeping those promises,” he shared. “All she really wanted for her 13th birthday this year was to see @theweeknd live in concert #yourwishisgranted 🧞‍♂️.”

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