The estranged father of singer The Weeknd has not seen his famous son in 14 years, and he tells RadarOnline.com he longs to be reunited with him.
In the same week the 26-year-old artist, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, was spotted in Italy with new squeeze Selena Gomez, his father reveals his heartache at their separation, and his sorrow at not being there for his son when he was homeless and on drugs.
"My dream is to create a bridge between me and my son," Makonnen Tesfaye told Radar.
"I wish more than anything I could make up for lost time, and I want to offer him a sincere apology for not being there for him when he needed me most," the elder Tesfaye said.
"My son is in my thoughts each and every day, and I long to tell him face to face how proud I am of him."
Talking about his son's romance with Gomez, Tesfaye revealed: "I follow every move he makes, and I have full trust in him to make the right life decisions on his relationships. What makes him happy makes me happy."
Tesfaye and Abel's mum, Samra, are both Ethiopian, and they met when he arrived in Montreal as a refugee in 1987.
When Abel was born, "he looked exactly like me except his eyes, which are just like his mum's," said Tesfaye.
Amazingly, he showed musical talents as a baby.
"Whenever I would feed him I put on music, especially Fats Domino," recalled Tesfaye. "When I would stop playing the music, he'd refuse to eat. He'd start eating again when I put the music back on!"
"For his first birthday we had a big celebration, and I will never forget him dancing to Michael Jackson's song 'Beat It.' He loved it."
But when Abel was around 2 years old, his parents separated and Tesfaye moved to the United States.
For a time, "I would pick him up on weekends, and sometimes he would sleep over," said Tesfaye.
"He'd make me laugh by cracking jokes, and we'd go on the water slide and to a theme park. The last time I saw my son he was 12. Growing apart from him was and still is very painful for me."
The Weeknd has revealed how before he became famous his life nearly spiraled out of control when he started using drugs.
"The Hills" singer told how he first smoked weed at age 11 and moved on to painkillers, Xanax, cocaine, mushrooms and ketamine.
For two years, he was also homeless.
"I honestly never had the faintest idea," said Tesfaye. "I want him to know I am sorry from the bottom of my heart for not being there for him.
"If I could speak to him, I would tell him how proud I am of him, and how much I love him."
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