Jada Pinkett-Smith has been in the headlines for the last week leading up to the release of her memoir Worthy this Tuesday, October 17.
Bombshells revealed in Pinkett-Smith’s book include the disclosure that she and Will Smith have been separated since 2016, her debilitating battle with depression, and transparency around her relationship with the late rapper and actor Tupac Shakur. In an interview with BOSSIP Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden, Jada opened up about her motivation behind penning her memoir, advice she got from Will, and the reason she believed a marriage between her and Pac would never have worked.
While critics of Pinkett-Smith have accused her of humiliating her husband, Will definitely wasn’t blindsided by any of her revelations.
“Will read the whole book,” Pinkett-Smith told BOSSIP. “He was probably he was one of the first people to read the whole book. My daughter is reading it now. MC Lyte, she’s reading it. I’ve given it to [Queen] Latifah to read. My girlfriend Toni Braxton, she’s read it, a couple of my business partners have read it. Trey and Jaden haven’t read it yet, but my mother is reading it now, but she read all of her parts before I even turned it in.”
In fact, Jada told us that Will’s experience penning his own bestselling memoir, Will, in 2021 made him one of her greatest allies in her book writing experience.
“He just helped me understand the psychological process of it all,” Jada told BOSSIP. “He just put me on game in regards to the benefits of writing the book and then, kind of the sticky areas. He’s like, ‘You’re gonna be really emotional. going back is not always easy.’”
In Worthy, Jada offers more insight and perspective on some of her most publicly scrutinized moments, like her “entanglement” with August Alsina, and her reactions to the 2022 Academy Awards moment where Chris Rock joked about her hair and was then slapped by Will during the televised broadcast. She even sets the record straight on past rumors that she and Will were swingers or beards and makes it clear that Alsina was not her son’s best friend, as it was reported in some places. However, Jada told us that setting the record straight was never her motivation for writing Worthy.
“That’s not that’s not why I wrote the book,” Pinkett-Smith told BOSSIP. “I knew that within the book, in order to tell my story that would be part of it, because I was like ‘if you were an outsider reading a story about Jada, like if you didn’t mention certain things, I would be disappointed as a reader.’ I had to step outside of myself. I was like, ‘you probably should address that,’ but it wasn’t necessary to set the record straight. It was more so like, if you’re going to share your story with the public, there’s just certain things that you got to give people what they’re looking to know. That’s just part of it.”
Interestingly enough, Jada told us that the most difficult part of writing Worthy wasn’t revisiting her lowest points, reliving her depression, the traumatic loss of friends and family members or the challenges of navigating the high pressures of a Hollywood marriage. Pinkett-Smith says she became most emotional writing about her family matriarchs and thinking about their journeys with a newfound perspective.
“Thinking about my grandparents, my grandmothers, Shirley and Marion and my great-grandmother, thinking of their journeys as a woman now,” Jada recalls, referring one moment in the book where her paternal grandmother refuses to enable her drug-addicted son, Jada’s father. “I remember getting really emotional thinking about my grandmother putting that paper bag of food on the porch for her son.”
“Going back in time like that was a really tough moment for me because I was like, ‘What if that was Jaden?,’” Jada continued. “It really broke my heart because I was so unaware as a child of what burden she was dealing with right there in front of me and then really learning how I got some of my behaviors to just keep it moving. She had to keep it moving. She had to come back to the table, act like she was unaffected and keep it moving. I know that broke her heart to have to do that.”
“Just thinking about some of what the women before me had to go through and as a woman now, recognizing what toll it took, what strength you know they carried, that flows my way and the sacrifices they made for me to be to be able to do what I do. So it was one of the tough parts of writing the book. There were plenty of tough parts. The whole book itself is going into the murkiness of lack of self-worth so it’s just raw!”
Keep reading for more from our exclusive Worthy interview with Jada Pinkett-Smith
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