In a recent interview, actor Jada Pinkett Smith disclosed that she and her husband, Will Smith, have been living separately since 2016, shedding light on the state of their relationship, which was concealed from the public eye for years. The couple’s marriage, underpinned by Hollywood power and fame, was thrust into the spotlight at the 2022 Academy Awards when Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage in response to a joke about Jada.
However, it appears their separation had begun long before the infamous Oscars incident. Jada Pinkett Smith, in an interview with NBC News, referred to their lives as “totally separate” as early as 2016. She explained, “By the time we got to 2016 we were just exhausted with trying.” Persistent rumors of affairs and questions about an open marriage had plagued the couple for years, which they consistently denied.
In 2020, Pinkett Smith publicly acknowledged an “entanglement” with singer August Alsina during a period of separation from her husband. According to the recent interview, the separation persists to this day, even though they remain legally married.
When asked why they had concealed their separation for so long, Jada Pinkett Smith explained they were “just not… ready yet.” She expressed their intention to figure out what their partnership would look like, highlighting the deep love they have for each other.
The interview also delves into the events surrounding the 2022 Oscars ceremony. During the show, Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s closely cropped hair due to alopecia. This prompted Will Smith to take the stage and slap the comedian before yelling obscenities. In her memoir, Pinkett Smith recalls that she initially thought it was a “skit” and remained uncertain about the reason behind Will’s reaction.
She mentioned that Chris Rock had once asked her out, mistakenly believing that she and Will were getting a divorce. Jada clarified the situation, stating that divorce was not in the cards, and Rock was taken aback. Their encounter led to a sincere apology.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith initially met on the set of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in 1994, when Smith was married to his first wife. Although they have two children together, Jaden and Willow, their relationship has been subject to significant media scrutiny over the years. The revelation of their long-standing separation has provided insights into their evolving journey as a couple.