In a surprising revelation, Jada Pinkett Smith disclosed that she and Will Smith have been living separate lives for the past seven years. This candid admission comes from a preview of her forthcoming prime-time special with Hoda Kotb, where Pinkett Smith delves into revelations from her memoir, “Worthy.”
According to Pinkett Smith, she and Will have been leading entirely independent lives since 2016, nearly two decades after their marriage in 1997. Although legally still married, they have ceased to be romantically involved.
The news comes as a shock to many, as the couple has always presented a united front in public. When Kotb directly questioned why they hadn’t previously shared their relationship status, Pinkett Smith explained it was a matter of not feeling prepared yet. She noted, “Still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership … In regards to, how do we present that to people? We hadn’t figured that out.”
While it remains unclear what precisely precipitated the separation, Pinkett Smith elucidates that they were both ‘exhausted with trying.’
“Why it fractured…that — that’s a lot of things … 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,” she says.
Pinkett Smith further revealed that though she contemplated a legal divorce, she has never been able to go through with it.
“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through … whatever,” Pinkett Smith says. “I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s longtime partnership has included headlines about infidelity including revelations about Pinkett Smith’s “entanglement” with singer August Alsina. However, it is now evident that this occurred after their separation.
In a 2020 episode of Pinkett Smith’s now-discontinued Red Table Talk, Smith and Pinkett Smith addressed their marriage. During this candid conversation, they confirmed that before her involvement with Alsina, they had been “going through a very difficult time.”
“I was done with your ass,” Smith jokingly remarked.
“Yeah, you kicked me to the curb,” Pinkett Smith responded. “We broke up.”
The couple shares two children, 24-year-old son Jaden Smith and 21-year-old daughter Willow Smith. Additionally, the actor has a 29-year-old son named Trey from his first marriage with ex-wife Sheree Zampino.
Jada Pinkett Smith’s special with Hoda Kotb is scheduled to air on NBC on October 13 at 8 p.m ET/PT.