Jada Pinkett Smith Addresses Will Smith Oscars Slap and Their Marriage

Jada Pinkett Smith Addresses Will Smith Oscars Slap and Their Marriage

Jada Pinkett Smith is opening up like never before about what she thinks of the 2022 Academy Awards incident in which her husband, Will Smith, slapped comedian Chris Rock on live television. 

The King Richard star made his feelings known when Chris, who was presenting onstage at the Oscars, made a joke about Jada’s hair. The actress suffers from alopecia.

“I thought, ‘This is a skit,'” Jada tells People, noting that like many viewers watching at home and in the audience, she initially thought the confrontation was staged. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’ It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit.”

The first words she uttered to Will, once they were alone after the show, were, “Are you OK?”

Will’s response to that question remains a work in progress, something Jada discusses in her upcoming book, Worthy, set to berelease on Oct. 17. She’s committed to standing by her 55-year-old husband, stating, “I’m going to be by his side, but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself.”

The slap occurred right after Chris made the joke, “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” which prompted the actress to roll her eyes at the joke. Moments later, after Chris quipped that that was “a nice [joke]” after being met with some uncomfortable reaction from the audience, he saw Will make his way onto the stage

Chris, who was chuckling, was then met with an open-handed slap to his cheek from Will. “Oh, wow,” he immediately reacted, as Will walked offstage. The sound on the Oscars broadcast suddenly cut out after Chris said Will’s name in reaction. And as the camera panned back to the Oscar nominee, back at his seat, though there was no sound, you could clearly read what Smith shouted at Chris.

“Leave my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth,” Will yelled back at the comedian.

Unsure how to proceed, Chris said, “That was the greatest night in the history of television,” which was captured through ABC’s telecast.

Will later made a public apology for his actions.

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Jada’s life isn’t just defined by the Oscars incident. In her new book, she delves into her challenging upbringing and the complexities of her marriage. She candidly shares her experiences and personal growth, including her struggles with mental health. “When I turned 40, I was in so much pain. I couldn’t figure a way out besides death. So I made a plan,” she shares.

Jada admits that the outside world’s perception of her life, particularly a decade ago when she appeared to have it all, was quite different from her inner turmoil. She recounts the dark thoughts that plagued her, “‘Just kill yourself. You’re not worth anything, you ain’t sh**.'”

She even considered plotting her own death but didn’t want her children to think she had taken her own life.

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Even before this time, Jada was struggling with her mental health and Will played a pivotal role in helping her. She describes the moment when he urged her to call him when she got to Los Angeles. “And so when I got to L.A., I called him. I haven’t been able to get rid of him since.”

Their relationship was transformative for Jada, who had been receiving treatment for depression and suicidal ideation. She revealed that her love for Will was so intense that she believed he had cured her, leading her to stop taking Prozac. “He became the drug.”

Jada and Will’s marriage has been the subject of fascination for many fans since their union on New Year’s Eve in 1997. Throughout their relationship, they’ve been crowned as Hollywood royalty, attracting both admiration and speculation. Jada describes their marriage as an ongoing process, stating, “We’re still figuring it out.” She discloses that they had been separated for six years before the Oscars incident, emphasizing the deep love they have for each other and their determination to discover what their relationship looks like moving forward.

Regarding her children, Jaden, 25, Willow, 22, and Will’s son, Trey, 30, from another relationship, Jada expresses her immense gratitude for their unwavering support. “My children, they’re little gurus,” she says. “They’ve taught me a deep sense of self-acceptance. The level of love, unconditional love that they have for me and their dad is extraordinary.”


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