Jada Pinkett Smith says she and Will Smith have been ‘separated for seven years’

Couple married in 1997 and share two children

Nicole Vassell
Thursday 12 October 2023 06:22 BST
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Jada Pinkett Smith discusses Will Smith Oscars slap for first time

Jada Pinkett Smith has revealed that she and husband Will Smith have been separated for the last seven years.

The Set It Off and Girls Trip actor, 52, has been married to the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star since 1997. Together, they share children Jaden and Willow, as well as Will’s son Trey, whom he had with his first wife, Sheree Zampino.

In a new interview with People magazine, Jada shared some insight into her relationship with the Oscar-winning star of King Richard.

When asked about the state of their marriage, Jada replied: “We’re still figuring it out.”

She then revealed that at the time of the 2022 Academy Awards, when Will slapped Chris Rock, they had been separated for six years.

“We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together,” she continued. “We just got deep love for each other and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us.”

As for her children, Jada praised them for how they’ve helped her grow. “My children, they’re little gurus. They’ve taught me a deep sense of self-acceptance.”

Jada and Will have shared details of their non-traditional outlook on their marriage on several occasions.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith

For one, Will explained in 2018 that they didn’t refer to themselves as “married”, and preferred alternative terms to describe their bond.

Speaking to Tidal’s “Rap Radar” podcast, the Pursuit of Happyness star said he and Jada “refer to ourselves as life partners, where you get into that space where you realise you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life.

“There’s no deal breakers. There’s nothing she could do - ever. Nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support till death and it feels so good to get to that space.”

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith

In 2020, their marriage was subject to further fan discussion when R&B singer August Alsina claimed to have had a secret relationship with Jada.

Alsina said Will gave him and Jada his “blessing”, adding: “I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation due to the transformation from their marriage to life partnership that they’ve spoken on several times and it not involving romanticism.”

Alsina added he “totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life and I truly and really, really deeply loved and have a ton of love for her.”

Representatives for Jada denied Alsina’s claims soon after they emerged. Two weeks later, Jada and Will appeared on Jada’s Facebook Live talk show Red Table Talk to discuss the topic.

While Jada admitted to having had a relationship with Alsina, she clarified that she and Will had been separated at the time.

August Alsina and Jada Pinkett Smith

“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 figure out how to make myself happy,” Jada explained at the time.

“From there, as time went on, I got into a different kind of entanglement with August...Yes, it was a relationship absolutely.”

However, Will and Jada’s relationship has never been more subject to public discussion than the period surrounding the Academy Awards in 2022.

After presenter Chris Rock made a joke about Jada’s shaved head, Will travelled to the stage from his seat and slapped him round the face.

Though it wasn’t immediately clear whether the move was done in jest, Will followed up when he returned to his seat with an order for Rock to “keep [his] wife’s name out [his] f***ing mouth”.

During his teary Best Actor acceptance speech later that night, Will said he was a “fierce defender of his family”.

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