JADA Pinkett Smith has shocked fans by revealing she secretly split from husband Will seven years ago.
From their divorce plans to Jada’s romance with August Alsina and their separate homes, we took a look at the Hollywood couple’s rocky relationship.
Jada, 52, revealed in her memoir, Worthy, that she and Will, 54, decided to “live completely separate lives” in 2016.
She was questioned about their confusing relationship during an appearance on the Today show on Wednesday.
Hoda Kotb clarified, “It was not a divorce on paper, but it was a divorce,” and Jada nodded.
“So since 2016, which is seven years now, y’all have been apart?” Hoda, 59, asked.
“Yeah,” Jada, 52, nodded her head.
Will and Jada married in 1997 and share two kids together – Willow, 22, and Jaden, 25. Will also has a son, Trey, 30, from a previous relationship.
Jada shared that they weren’t ready to share the news publicly and were figuring out “how to be in a partnership” and that’s why she kept it private all these years.
“In regards to, how do we present that to people? We hadn’t figured that out,” the mother of two shared.
As for the reason, she said it was “a lot of things” and they were “stuck inside a fantasy” of what they thought the other person should be.
“By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted of trying,” Jada shared.
Although the actors are split physically, they are not legally divorced on paper.
Jada considered a legal divorce but never went through with it.
“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce,” she told Hoda.
“We will work through whatever. We just haven’t been able to break that promise.”
However, Hoda asked the Red Table Talk host if they still live together, and Jada said they live separately.
Hoda revealed to her Today co-host that they have not called each other “husband and wife” in years.
“Except in every public appearance,” Savannah Guthrie said.
“We’re still figuring it out. We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together,” she said.
“We just got deep love for each other and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us.”
As for their kids, she said: “My children, they’re little gurus. They’ve taught me a deep sense of self-acceptance.”
OPEN MARRIAGE RUMORS
The couple has faced decades of rumors that they are in an open marriage.
During a brutally honest interview in 2005, Will hinted that the pair were allowed to sleep with other people — just as long as the other gave them the green light.
He said: “Our perspective is, you don’t avoid what’s natural. You’re going to be attracted to people.
“In our marriage vows, we didn’t say ‘forsaking all others’. The vow that we made was that you will never hear that I did something after the fact.
“If it came down to it, then one can say to the other, ‘Look, I need to have sex with somebody.
“I’m not going to if you don’t approve of it — but please approve of it.’”
In 2011, the couple’s alleged free spirit approach in the bedroom made headlines again, when Jada was rumoured to be having a fling with singer Marc Anthony, then married to superstar singer Jennifer Lopez.
Will and Jada released a joint statement to fend off claims of the rumored romance.
Two years later, Jada talked about the rumors during an appearance on HuffPost Live.
She said at the time: “I’ve always told Will, ‘You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be OK.’”
“Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I’m here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that’s not for me to do for him. Or vice versa.”
After the quotes sparked more rumours, Jada hit back on Facebook, saying: “Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship. This means we have a GROWN one.”
AUGUST ALSINA ROMANCE
Will and Jada admitted in 2020 that she had a romance with musician August Alsina, who was 25 at the time.
They were introduced by Jada’s son Jaden in 2015 and became romantic when she and Will had secretly separated in 2015.
August said he “truly loved” Jada and claimed he had Will’s blessing to date her.
“I 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, you know, not involving romanticism,” the R&B singer said.
“He gave me his blessing. I 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.”
The couple initially denied his claims, before admitting to the relationship during a joint appearance on Red Table Talk.
Jada said: “Four-and-a-half years ago [I] started a friendship with August and we became really, really good friends and it all started with him just needing some help, me wanting to help his health and mental state.”
Speaking directly to Will, she added: “The outpouring for him from our family was initially about his health.
“We found all those different resources to help pull him through and, from there, you and I were going through a very difficult time.”
Will added: “I was done with your a**, marriages have that though,” to which Jada said: “We broke up.”
Pushing her to continue, Will asked: “And then what did you do, Jada?”
She replied: “As time went on I got into a different kind of entanglement with August.”
When Will asked what she meant by entanglement, his wife told him: “It was a relationship, absolutely.”
Will then asked what she had been looking for from her romance with August, and she replied: “I wanted to feel good. It had been so long since I felt good.”
Will and Jada rekindled their romance after her relationship with August.
The pair revealed they could laugh about the situation because it was so long ago, and ended the talk with a fist bump and a high five.
Will revealed in his memoir that he and Jada secretly split in 2011 after having a fight on her 40th birthday.
“Do I have to be married? What is it?” he wrote and described a vision where Jada was the soil and he was a seed.
He began to think of his relationship as a”fruitful interaction that is meant to feed the people around us… Whether I liked our interaction or not, I started feeling in my heart we were special together. We were condoned by the universe.”
The enlightenment came after the couple was having marriage problems, which came to a head around Jada’s 40th birthday.
“We realized that it was a fantasy illusion that we could make each other happy,” Will said.
“We agreed that she had to make herself happy and I had to make myself happy. Then we were going to present ourselves back to the relationship already happy — versus demanding that the other person fill our empty cup.”
They secretly broke up again in 2018 after disagreeing over Willow’s career.
Will made the revelation on Red Table Talk in October of that year, saying he had been blind to his family’s unhappiness.
He realized they weren’t content when Willow, then 18, shaved off her hair in protest to doing any more music after her hit, Whip My Hair, came out.
“I saw for the first time what Jada had been saying the whole time about hiding behind my ego, my dreams and my desires and pretending like it’s love,” Will said.
“And I realized [Jada] wanted none of the stuff I had built. Because I had been divorced before, I wasn’t getting divorced again. Divorce wasn’t an option.”
“I was devastated even worse than a divorce. We broke up within our marriage and got back together again,” he continued. “We had to rebuild with new rules and something way, completely different.”
The stars are known for their incredibly open interviews about their sex life.
In recent years, Jada revealed she likes to watch Will’s movie sex scenes, and boasted about being intimate on film sets during breaks and her love of sex toys.
She also said that she and Will romped in a limo en route to the 2010 Oscars, revealing: “We started kissing passionately and the next thing I knew, well, let’s say we missed the red carpet and I ended up with almost no make-up on.”
The Matrix Reloaded actress has always said her marriage with husband Will has never been conventional and even the word “wife” gave her the shivers, comparing it to a “golden cage.”
She added: “Even before I was married, I was like, ‘That’ll kill me.’ And it damn near did.”
Will once boasted that they had sex multiple times a day for four months.
He opened up about their sex life to Oprah on The Oprah Conversation, where the host read from his memoir, Will.
“We drank every day, and had sex multiple times every day, for four straight months,” Will wrote.
“I started to wonder if this was a competition. Either way, as far as I was concerned, there were only two possibilities: (1) I was going to satisfy this woman sexually, or (2) I was going to die trying.”