Jada Pinkett Smith dropped a bombshell just days before the release of her memoir, Worthy. In a sit-down interview with NBC News, Jada, 52, reveals that she’s been separated from Will Smith since 2016. They are still legally married, but they live “completely separate lives.”
“It was not a divorce on paper,” Hoda Kotb says. Jada responds, “Right.” Hoda adds, “… But it was a divorce.” Jada says, “Divorce.”
However, Jada has no plans to get a legal 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,” she reveals.
Jada and Will, 55, have been hiding the truth about their relationship for years. The Girls Trip star explains that she just hasn’t been “ready” to explain their status to the world. She admits that “a lot of things” led to their separation.
“By the time we got to 2016, we were exhausted with trying. I think we were both kind of still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be,” Jada tells Hoda.
In a separate interview with PEOPLE, Jada revealed that she and the Fresh Prince alum are “still figuring” out the state of their marriage. “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 told the outlet.
To the public, Jada and Will have appeared to be one of Hollywood’s last remaining power couples. The pair attended the 2022 Oscars together, the night Will won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in King Richard. However, that night took a turn when Will infamously slapped Chris Rock for joking about Jada’s shaved head.
While they’ve been secretive about their separation, Jada and Will have been open about their relationship’s ups and downs in the past. In 2016, Jada had an “entanglement” with singer August Alsina while she was separated from Will. Jada and Will addressed Jada’s relationship with August in a 2020 episode of Red Table Talk. Will admitted that he felt like their marriage was over. “Marriages have that though. We decided that we were going to separate for a period of time and you go figure out how to make yourself happy and I’ll try to figure out how to make myself happy. I really felt like we could be over,” he said to Jada on her show.