Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, are opening up and answering burning questions about the actress’ marriage — and separation — from Will Smith.
Last week, the 52-year-old actress sat down with Today‘s Hoda Kotb for an intimate discussion about her upcoming memoir, Worthy. During the NBC News prime-time special, Jada broke down the many startling revelations from her book, including her marriage to Will. Jada shared that she and Will have been separated for seven years.
The Girls Trip star disclosed that she and Will, 55, have been leading “completely separate lives” since 2016, even though they never officially divorced.
On Saturday, Jada said on TalkShopLive that people have misunderstood and misconstrued the nature of their relationship and some of their past dramas — including her so-called “entanglement” with August Alsina, which she and Will spoke about on Red Table Talk in July 2020.
“I just need people to know, OK, I did not cheat on Will Smith. No matter how sad he looked at that table,” Jada shared. “And when you read this book, you will kind of get an understanding of why the Red Table even happened in the first place.”
During that episode of Red Table Talk, Jada said that she and Will had “decided we were going to separate for a period of time.” It was not revealed until now that she and Will have been separated for the past seven years.
However, despite being separated, Jada says that she and Will are in a “really beautiful place,” and she feels very free and content having finished her memoir.
“I’m in a place of peace. I’m in a place of happiness. And in all honesty, I love where I am,” she shared. “As far as Will, my relationship with him, you know, we went through that long period of separation… in order for us to journey separately and do some journeying together. And it just seems as though we’ve come to a really, really beautiful place together. So I just, I’m happy. Yeah, that’s where I am. In this chapter of my life, I am finally happy.”
According to Norris, one reason Jada and Will pushed themselves to stay together and thus strained the relationship was due to public perception.
“People had this vision in their mind and this idea in their minds, of who you were, as a couple, the family and all of that, and you guys just tried to live up to it,” Norris said.
“Well, we thought that’s what we were supposed to do until we got mature and got our asses in some therapy, and realized, you know, that that’s just not a realistic thing to do,” Jada explained. “There’s so much love, you know, between us.”
“Somebody asked if there’s an opportunity of Will and I to get back together,” she continued. “And, you know, Will and I are, we’re family, and I know that what we’ve talked about with the Today show was this big separation — and we had been separated, and you guys didn’t know it, because we didn’t feel like it was something to share, because we were trying to figure out what that meant.”
“Then, different things have transpired over the last two years and Will and I have been doing a lot of healing together,” she shared. “And, you know, we have made our way back to this interdependence, this beautiful loving space between us. And we’re family. And we’re figuring it out. And it’s a beautiful figuring it out. Been beautiful. Got a lot of love.”
During her conversation with Kotb on the Today show last week, Jada was asked why they chose to maintain the arrangement of being separated but keeping it secret. Jada shared, “I think just not being ready yet. Still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in a partnership, and in regards to how do we present that to people, you know? And we hadn’t figured that out.”
“I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be,” Jada said, adding that she made a promise to herself and Will to never allow their marriage to result in a divorce. “I made a promise that there will 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.”
Divorce, at least at the present time, is off the table. “We don’t want to,” Jada said. “We love our family. And we love each other. It’s more of a life partnership. Ten years from now, Hoda, who knows?”
Jada’s new memoir, Worthy will be available wherever books are sold on Oct. 17.
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