Jada Pinkett Smith Opens Up About Her Marriage to Will Smith and the Infamous ‘Oscars Slap’ in 2022

Jada Pinkett Smith has made plenty of headlines over the past few decades, but now it’s her turn to control the narrative. The 52-year-old actress is preparing for the October 17 release of her newest memoir – titled Worthy – and is making several revelations as she embarks on a shocking press tour. 

In a recent interview with PEOPLE, which was published on Wednesday (Oct. 11), Jada talks about her marriage to Will Smith (which has allegedly been teetering on the edge of divorce since 2016) and the infamous ‘Oscars Slap’ at the Academy Awards in 2022 (which brought negative attention to the couple). 

Believe it or not, Jada was as shocked as the rest of us when Will walked up on that stage and slapped fellow comedian, Chris Rock – in fact, she thought it was a skit. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’ It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit,” she says.

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While her husband was criticized for his tirade (and rightfully so), Jada Pinkett Smith is making one thing abundantly clear: “I’m going to be by his side.” She’s going to give him the space he needs to ‘figure this out for himself,’ but will continue to support him in his life and career, just like any good partner would do.

Will and Jada have had their fair share of ups and downs since they started dating in 1995. They first met in 1994, but it wasn’t until Will got divorced from his first wife, Sheree Zampino, that he asked Jada out – though, as she recalls it, he didn’t really ask (at least not politely). Nonetheless, she gave him a chance.

She was being treated for depression and suicidal ideation prior to dating Will, but he gave her a spark of life. “Once I met Will, I completely abandoned my mental health. I was so intoxicated by him and our dynamic. I really felt like I’m cured,” she saidadding that she didn’t need her medication at that point. 

She also talked about how ‘ayahuasca’ (a plant-based psychedelic drug) helped her form ‘a new intimate relationship with myself that I had never had before.’ She admits that she, along with her husband and children – have taken ayahuasca before and emphasized that her children were adults when they took it. 

Jada Pinkett Smith Has Been Separated From Will Smith Since 2016

One of the biggest and most shocking revelations in her upcoming memoir – which she is now opening up about on her press tour – is the fact that she and Will Smith are no longer together. Their marriage has been a subject of speculation for years now, but she appears ready to clear things up once and for all. 

According to her, she and Will had been separated for six years prior to the 2022 Oscars incident – since 2016. “We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together. We just got deep love for each other and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us,” she said in her interview with PEOPLE magazine. 

She further clarified that, while they haven’t legally divorced, they have been living completely different lives for the past seven years. She says that the primary reason why they’re not divorced is because she doesn’t want to break a promise she made – that ‘there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce.’

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“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 said of her relationship with Will in an upcoming interview with Hoda Kotb – out Oct. 13.

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