Jada Pinkett Smith feels free these days. She no longer hides the fact that she has been separated from her husband, megastar Will Smith, for seven years.
“Honestly, it took a weight off my shoulders,” said Pinkett Smith, whose new memoir, “Worthy,” is available now. "Since the Oscars, it's very interesting how such an intense event can bring you together, and I would say that after that, we really dove in and dug deeper and got to this beautiful place that we are in now."
The actor, who first revealed the explosive news to NBC's Hoda Kotb last week, details his many gossips about the marriage throughout the biography. Over the years, the couple has faced rumors (of having an open marriage, a changing lifestyle, and questions about their sexual orientation), all while smiling, seemingly portraying a perfect life.
The Daytime Emmy winner briefly considered scrapping the project; began writing the 400-plus page book, co-written with Mim Eichler Rivas, in early 2022. But after Will slapped Chris Rock in real time during the Oscars for a joke about his shaved head, Pinkett Smith wondered if writing a book was the right choice.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been separated since 2016, she says
"The only time I possibly reconsidered it was after the Oscars... because I thought I couldn't write a book and not talk about this piece," he told The Associated Press, admitting that he felt like the scapegoat for Will's actions. "It took me a while to realize that."
While the Smiths' marital dynamics may still be confusing to some (they're technically still married, but they've lived separate lives for years and divorce isn't an option), the "Collateral" actress says they're working toward a resolution. .
“We love each other…we are figuring out right now as we speak what that will be like for us. But it can't be separated. There’s no ‘we’re getting divorced,’” she said. “I'm not giving up on that guy. And he’s not going to give up on me… So let’s stop and get to this deep healing and work this out.”
With talent and serendipitous timing, the Baltimore native headed to Hollywood in the early '90s during a peak period when the industry was welcoming young black actors and creatives. He eventually landed a role on “A Different World,” the spin-off of “The Cosby Show” that inspired a generation of young African Americans to pursue a college education, particularly at historically black colleges and universities. He went on to star in films such as “Menace II Society,” “Jason's Lyric,” “Set It Off,” “The Nutty Professor” and “The Matrix” franchise.
Pinkett Smith says that while her husband aspired to become a global superstar actor, she didn't share those same dreams, which caused friction. While she considered how revealing intimate details to the world would further impact her family, it's her story to tell: "before Jada Pinkett Smith, there was Jada Pinkett," she notes.
"Will completely understood that this was my point of view and that I had the right to speak about my point of view," Pinkett Smith said of her husband, who posted a video on Instagram with the cheeky caption "notifications off" on Sunday in reaction. to the media frenzy that the book has provoked. "We're even talking about writing a book called 'Don't Try This at Home'... just talking step by step about where our obstacles were and how we overcame everything we've overcome."
In Dey Street-HarperCollins' book, Pinkett Smith intimately chronicles everything from childhood lessons learned while in her grandmother's garden, to being the daughter of drug addicts, along with stories about dealing drugs as a teenager and the consequences that followed. In another revelation, she describes contemplating taking her own life while she was crushed by depression during a midlife crisis after turning 40.
But the book also sheds light on her path to Hollywood, her creative endeavors, and her journey through motherhood with her two children with Will, Jaden and Willow, and her “bonus” son, Trey, from Will's first marriage. She details the unconventional freedoms she has allowed the children that have sometimes drawn criticism. There are writing prompts in the memoir that encourage readers to reflect on their own lives.
“It's kind of like a 'Red Table Talk' orientation page,” he said with a big laugh. “I just wanted to give you little crumbs along the way, a little bit of oxygen along the way, I mean, I'm not going to just tell you that I got from point A to point B. But I just want to give you a little bit of the method by which it got me there ”.
“Red Table Talk” was the popular talk show broadcast on Facebook Live co-hosted by her, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and Willow. On the program they discussed intimate topics with the guests and among themselves. In one of the standout episodes, Jada and Will discussed what she called an “entanglement” after R&B singer August Alsina revealed the relationship, leading the public to believe he had had an affair. Images of Will's tired eyes and scruffy beard from that episode are frequently memed.
In the autobiography, Pinkett Smith also talks about her friendship with rap icon, actor and activist Tupac Shakur. She says there was a deep love between the two, but she maintains that they never had romantic feelings toward each other. They met in high school at the Baltimore School of the Arts, and both would grow up to navigate Hollywood and the pitfalls of fame. Shakur was assassinated in 1996.
Last month, Las Vegas authorities arrested Duane “Keffe D” Davis, the last living suspect in the drive-by shooting. Davis has been charged with murder.
“I'm glad this person who we always knew was in the car with the person who shot 'Pac was arrested. And I hope we get more information,” Pinkett Smith said. "I want to know who did the hit."
The 52-year-old says she no longer suffers from depression or suicidal thoughts, and credits the controversial plant-based psychedelic ayahuasca for her healing. Pinkett Smith says she has learned to maintain a positive mindset, supported by a daily routine that includes meditation, prayer, reading scriptures from various religions, and yoga.
Pinkett Smith has launched a 13-city “Our Worthy Journey” book tour with stops including London, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Although not everything in her life is perfect, today she feels worthy.
“(I feel) very comfortable in my skin. I know who I am. And I know who I am when it comes to my relationship with Divine Source,” she said, pointing to the sky before holding her heart. “I know I have everything I need here and anything else anyone wants to offer me is a gift, it's a gift! And I am deeply grateful.”