Jada Pinkett Smith says ‘soulmate’ Tupac Shakur proposed to her from prison

Pinkett Smith and Shakur met at a performing arts school as teenagers in the 1980s

Brittany Miller
New York
Friday 20 October 2023 20:10 BST
Related: Jaden Smith claims Tupac once proposed to Jada Pinkett Smith in resurfaced interview

Jada Pinkett Smith has recently opened up about her relationship with the late rapper Tupac Shakur.

On Friday 13 October, a teaser clip for Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s All The Smoke podcast showed Pinkett Smith discussing her memoir, Worthy, and her relationship with Shakur. The full podcast episode is set to be released on 19 October.

Pinkett Smith and Shakur first met as classmates when they were both at the Baltimore School for the Arts back in the 1980s. In 1995, Shakur served eight months in prison on sexual abuse charges, but was released pending an appeal of his conviction. He was bailed out by Suge Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records.

On the podcast, Pinkett Smith revealed that she visited the rapper while he was serving time on Rikers Island, and included moments from their visits in her memoir. She claimed that it was ​​”one of the most painful parts” of the memoir-writing process.

“Seeing him there, the condition that he was in, and having to leave him there, he was in bad shape,” she told Barnes and Jackson, before revealing that the “All Eyez On Me” rapper proposed to her during one of her visits.

“So when he asked me to get married, I knew at that time that he needed somebody to do time with him - which I was going to do anyway. You ain’t have to marry me to do time, I’m here,” Pinkett Smith said.

Pinkett Smith said she viewed the proposal as Shakur looking for a support system, and not because he loved her or wanted to get married. “I think that for him, he just felt like: ‘OK, if I can tether myself, it’ll keep me on a trajectory,’” she said, noting that the marriage proposal wouldn’t have amounted to anything at the end of the day.

“Because of our friendship and because of everything we have been through together, he just wanted to feel that solidified foundation, you know?” Pinkett Smith said on the podcast. “Because I promise you, he would have married and divorced me as soon as his a** left jail.”

In an interview with RollingOut last week, Pinkett Smith referred to Shakur as her “soulmate”. However, she acknowledged that a romantic relationship “wasn’t possible” because there was no chemistry between the two. “It’s that friendship love chemistry,” she said.

“It was almost like God made us that way,” Pinkett Smith continued. “It was like, look, I’m going to put y’all together, right? Y’all are going to be a dynamic duo. But I’m going to tell you right now, I’m going to make it so y’all are not going to be able to get together ‘cause that just wasn’t the purpose.”

Shakur was later killed in 1996 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. A suspect was recently charged with the murder and arrested.

One year after Shakur died, Pinkett Smith went on to marry Will Smith in 1997. She recently announced they’ve been separated since 2016 in an interview with People magazine. When asked about the state of their marriage, Pinkett Smith replied: “We’re still figuring it out.”

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