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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals That She & Will Smith Have Been Separated Since 2016 in Upcoming Memoir

Jada Pinkett Smith. Photo/Instagram

Jada Pinkett Smith reveals in her memoir Worthy that she and her superstar husband, Will Smith, have been separated since 2016. Jada sat down with Hota Kotb from the Today Show to discuss her book. The actress explained why she and Will had not disclosed their separation to the public: "I think just not being ready, still trying to figure out between the two of us, how to be in partnership, right...And in regard to how do we present that to people, you know, and we hadn't figured that out yet." Jada furthered to explain to Hoda what broke their marriage; "Why it fractured, that's a lot of things, and I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both kind of still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be. According to Hoda, Jada considered a legal divorce but could never go through with it. The Baltimore native explained, "I made a promise that there would never be a reason for us to get a divorce; we will work through whatever. And I just haven't been able to break that promise!"

It appeared that the longtime couple were in troubled waters when they made headlines in 2022 after Will Smith slapped fellow actor Chris Rock at the Oscars for making a joke about Jada's bald hairstyle that she wore due to hair loss from alopecia. The Oscar slap placed their relationship at the center of controversy. For years before the slap, people speculated that the Smiths were in an open relationship, which they always denied. However, the couple faced additional controversy when Jada had a fling with singer August Alsina, a family friend several years younger than Jada and Will. The couple addressed the fling, or what Jada called an "entanglement," on an episode of Red Table Talk. In the episode, Jada explained that the affair between her and August happened when she and Will split; "You and I were going through a very difficult time." Will confirmed, "Yea, I was done with your ass!"

The talented actress has also been criticized throughout the years for being candid about the close friendship she shared with the late rapper Tupac Shakur while married to Will. She's often referred to Tupac as her soulmate and detailed how their relationship began as teens at the Baltimore School of Performing Arts: "We met at the Baltimore School of the Arts. It was the first day, and he came over to me and introduced himself. And in high school, Pac was a little funny-looking. From looking at him, he wasn't necessarily like the type of cat that I would even deal with. But as soon as he approached me, he was like a magnet. Once you paid attention to him, he kind of sucked you in, and we hit it off. From that moment on, he would tell me all the time, Jada, you're going to be a star!"

Throughout the years, she's also shared her story about being the product of young drug-addicted parents and being saved by her mother's parents (her grandfather was a prominent medical doctor in Baltimore, and her grandmother was a social worker). Her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter, Willow, shared the spotlight with Jada as co-hosts of the Red Table Talk, where they often delved into personal and family issues. Despite her drug addiction, her mother became a registered nurse and recovered from her addiction during the '90s.

On Instagram, she gave the following explanation about why she's releasing her book: On October 17th, I invite you into a journey that, understandably, many think they already know. The fact that I have, in the last four years contributed to the creation and perpetuation of falsehoods about myself, in which other untrue narratives were birthed, has surely aided in the misunderstandings that surround me. This fall, with deep humility and respect, I will take back my narrative. My memoir starts at the beginning, offering an unvarnished and revealing account from my challenging upbringing in Baltimore into a controversial life in Hollywood. It's a harrowing ride of reclaiming my self-worth while unraveling unspoken truths.

My adventures of my youth, meaningful friendships, marriage, motherhood, self-betrayal and self reclamation are mere reflections of the adventures so many of us have taken in search of happiness. My hope is that through the exploration of my own tumultuous situations to the rediscovery of deep love, that we are all reminded that no matter where we may be on our journey, we are all…Worthy. Reserve your copy now, link in bio.

Hoda's full interview with Jada air on NBC Friday, September 13; her book will be released on October 17th.


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