Jada Pinkett Smith Says Will Smith’s Infamous Oscars ‘Holy Slap’ Saved Marriage: ‘I Will Never Leave Him’

The actress, who admitted to separating from the actor seven years ago, called the experience a 'positive' one, in a new interview.

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Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Jada Pinkett Smith, 52, admitted she felt Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards turned out to be a “positive” thing, in a new interview with Daily Mail. The actress, who recently revealed she and the actor, 55, separated seven years ago, said she felt the bold and now infamous move “saved” their marriage, despite all the controversy that followed. She also revealed she almost didn’t go to the event.

“I nearly didn’t even attend the Oscars that year, but I’m glad I did,” Jada told the outlet. “I call it the ‘holy slap’ now because so many positive things came after it.”

Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith
Jada and Will at a preious event. (Matt Baron/Shutterstock)

“That moment of the s**t hitting the fan is when you see where you really are,” she continued. “After all those years trying to figure out if I would leave Will’s side, it took that slap for me to see I will never leave him. Who knows where our relationship would be if that hadn’t happened?”

During the Oscars’ live ceremony, Will got up on stage to slap host Chris after he made a joke about Jada’s shaved head. In the joke, he compared her to Demi Moore’s character, who also had a shaved head, in the 1997 film GI Jane. “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth,” Will also shouted to Chris during the moment of the slap.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith
Will and Jada at an event in 2022. (Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

Jada’s latest comments about her marriage with Will come just a couple of months after she made similar statements to Variety. “After the Oscars, that’s when we did some really deep work together,” she told the outlet at the time. “I was like, ‘I’m riding with you. I didn’t come into this place as your wife, but I’m leaving here as your wife because we got a storm we’re going to have to deal with together. I am not gonna leave your side.'”

Will and Jada were married in 1997 and share two children, including son Jaden, 25, and daughter Willow, 23, together. They first publicly revealed their 2016 separation. “By the time we got to 2016, we were exhausted with trying,” Jada told NBC News in October. “I think we were both kind of still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”