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Source: Getty Images

‘Family Matters’ Jaleel White and Ex Had Messy Custody Battle over Daughter Who Squints Just like Dad in New Pics

Stephen Thompson
Sep 29, 2021
10:00 A.M.
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Jaleel White shares an incredible bond with his only daughter Samaya White and often posts pictures of them spending time together. A recent Instagram post left fans in awe of the pair.


American actor Jaleel White is known for his excellent acting skills on the big screen. He acquired great recognition after making multiple appearances as Steve Urkel in the 1989 Family Television sitcom, "Family Matters."

Since his appearance on the series, Jaleel has celebrated other significant milestones, including becoming a father to his only child and daughter, Samaya White. The actor's love for his daughter is glaring as he never fails to show her off.

Photo of young Jaleel White on the show "Family Matters." | Photo: Getty Images

Photo of young Jaleel White on the show "Family Matters." | Photo: Getty Images


With several posts splattered on his Instagram page over the years, the actor, who doubles as a comedian, has successfully dazzled netizens with different looks of the adorable girl. Recently, Jaleel updated his fans with another lovely image.


Taking to Instagram, the father of one posted a snapshot of him and his cute look-alike daughter posing next to each other. Jaleel looked dapper in a red hoodie, a matching cap, plain brown pants, with blue and white sneakers.


On the other hand, Samaya was clad in a black long-sleeved top, paired with ripped gray denim pants and a pair of black and white sneakers. She rocked long black braids and had a black face mask underneath her jaw.

His achievements were too much for Hardy to bear, and all the allegations levied against him by her were aimed at pulling him down.

Jaleel and his daughter struck similar poses while making goofy faces. The young girl squinted her eyes just like her dad usually does. The striking resemblance between the father and daughter was uncanny.


Other slides captured fun moments Jaleel and Samaya shared with friends and family during their outing to Disneyland. In the caption, the proud dad revealed that he took having fun as seriously as any other job. He added:

"Nothin' cures the adulting blues faster than a quick trip to #Ditneyland #oogieboogiebash Alllllllllllvin!!! ..."


This would not be the first Disney outing Samaya will be having with her father. Jaleel and his daughter once took a trip to the famous Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California; they made sure to update fans with lovely snaps.

While at the studio, Samaya showcased her artistic side. One of the images featured her painting a drawing of the animated character, Donald Duck, with a fantastic Disney employee by her side.



Jaleel shares his beautiful daughter with his ex-girlfriend, Bridget Hardy. Sadly, Samaya was deprived of the opportunity to share fun moments with both of her parents at her side as the pair went their separate ways shortly after their daughter's birth.

After their separation, the actor and his former partner were involved in a severe custody battle for Samaya, who was 11 months old at the time. Hardy had also accused Jaleel of being physically and verbally abusive.

She claimed the "Dancing With The Stars" competitor hit her across the chest area and pushed her into a toilet, causing it to break. Jaleel denied all allegations leveled against him, noting that he had no history of being violent.


According to Jaleel, his achievements were too much for Hardy to bear, and all the allegations levied against him by her were aimed at pulling him down, which he described as hurting. The Hollywood star refrained from delving deeply into details based on advice, adding:

"My only hope is that when my daughter Googles her parents one day in her future, she sees that her father acted with class and dignity when pressed to the fire..."

Furthermore, Jaleel pleaded with the public to be sensitive as it was a difficult time. He made it known that the resurfaced allegations were only a residue of a child custody matter.



Despite her parents' bitter history, Samaya appears not to be overly affected by any of the drama that happened as the love she has for the "Family Matters" star can be seen from miles away.

Not only is she Jaleel's mini version, but Samaya has also inherited the actor's acting skills. Pictures and short clips shared on Jaleel's Instagram page featured the beautiful girl showcasing her acting skills.

Apart from the skills, Samaya appears to be natural when it comes to presenting. She currently co-hosts a new podcast with her star dad, and Jaleel wastes no time updating his social media fans with videos showing his daughter's talents.



Outside of acting and presenting, the father and child duo seem to have an affinity for food as they are almost always seen taking pictures together while eating. Samaya also enjoys watching movies and attending movie premieres.

Last year, Jaleel began an Audio Up podcast series called "Ever After," where he interviewed other former child stars.

Jaleel once took his daughter to the premiere of the adventure movie "Jumanji," and Samaya seemed to have loved the experience. Samaya is also a lover of music. A picture captured the little girl looking excited while enjoying the performance from artists during the "On The Run" tour.


Although Jaleel and Samaya always spend time together, Jaleel's mini-me understands her father's career and busy schedules.

During a chat with Access, the Hollywood star mentioned that when his child was two and a half years old, she already understood that her dad had to work, adding that she also understood his work put him on television.



Last year, Jaleel began an Audio Up podcast series called "Ever After," where he interviewed other former child stars like Melissa Joan Hart, Seth Green, Raven-Symone, and many more.

The actor made it known that the reason for doing the podcast was to show the world what child stars experienced and how luck played a significant role in their fame.

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