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HomeEntertainmentJada Pinkett Smith says she and husband Will Smith separated years ago

Jada Pinkett Smith says she and husband Will Smith separated years ago

Jada Pinkett Smith revealed in a new interview that she has been separated from her husband, Will Smith, since 2016, surprising many who have followed the couple’s long relationship — from a 1990s sitcom meet-cute to last year, when Will infamously slapped an Oscars host who made a joke about Jada.

In a clip of the yet-to-air interview on NBC News, Jada said she and Will have lived “completely separate lives” for seven years but weren’t ready to publicly reveal the news until now. Jada, an actress and producer known for roles in “The Matrix” franchise and “Madagascar” and her close relationship to the late rapper Tupac Shakur, has been on a media tour ahead of the release of her memoir, “Worthy.”

“We were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be,” she told interviewer Hoda Kotb, when asked about how their marriage fractured.

The couple has not divorced, and they’ve asserted over the years that they don’t plan to.

The couple met in 1994, when she auditioned to play his girlfriend on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Will’s previous marriage to Sheree Zampino ended in divorce in 1995, and he married Jada on New Year’s Eve in 1997. They have two children together: Jaden Smith and Willow Smith. Will and Zampino share a son, Trey Smith.

The separation isn’t a total surprise, despite the couple’s frequent amicable appearances together. In a 2020 episode of Jada’s Facebook show “Red Table Talk,” the couple candidly discussed a period about four years earlier when Jada became involved in what she called an “entanglement” with singer August Alsina — at first emotionally, then romantically. (Will later clarified in a GQ interview that they both pursued other sexual relationships during that time.)

“We decided we were going to separate for a period of time, and you’d go figure out how to make yourself happy, and I’ll figure out how to make myself happy,” Will said.

“We never ever thought that we would make it back,” Jada added.

But the pair said they had long since reconciled, and even “gotten to that place of unconditional love,” as Jada put it.

“25 years and counting!” Will said near the end of the 2020 segment, and he fist-bumped Jada as they said in unison: “Bad marriage for life!”

“The public has a narrative that is impenetrable,” Will told GQ the next year as he discussed the couple’s ups and downs. “Once the public decides something, it’s difficult to impossible to dislodge the pictures and ideas and perceptions.”

The couple made headlines again last year, after Will interrupted comedian Chris Rock’s Oscars monologue and slapped him for cracking a joke about Jada’s alopecia condition, which causes hair loss. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth,” Will said before a stunned audience.

In an interview with People this week, Jada said that she thought the slap was a skit until her husband walked back to his chair.

“I’m going to be by his side,” she told the magazine about their marriage and Will’s well-being, “but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself.”

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