In a clip from her upcoming NBC News prime-time special with Hoda Kotb, which is set to air on October 13, the Red Table Talk host reveals that she and Smith have been separated and living “completely separate lives” since 2016.
Hoda asks Pinkett Smith to expand on the marriage revelation from her upcoming memoir, Worthy, with the host saying that’s what “surprised her the most” out of the book’s “many surprising things.”
Though the two of them are still legally married, Pinkett Smith explains that she and Will are no longer romantically together–and they haven’t been for a long time.
“It was not a divorce on paper,” Kotb clarifies.
“Right,” Pinkett Smith says.
“…but it was a divorce,” Kotb replies.
“Divorce,” Pinkett Smith insists.
When Hoda asks why the couple hadn’t gone public with their relationship status before now, Pinkett Smith says it came down to “just not being ready yet.”
Jada continues to explain that up until now, the couple was, “still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership … In regards to, how do we present that to people? We hadn’t figured that out.”
As for what led to the relationship’s demise, there’s not one clear answer.
“Why it fractured…that’s a lot of things,” the actress explains. “By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”
Jada–who married Will in 1997–went on to say that while she has actually considered a legal divorce, she’s simply never been able to go through with it.
“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce,” Pinkett Smith says. “We will work through… whatever, I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”
Will and Jada’s marriage has long been the subject of headlines, including the latter’s infamous “entanglement” with August Alsina and the couple’s subsequent Red Table Talk interview about it in 2020.
During the episode, which aired in 2020, Smith and Pinkett Smith addressed their marriage, which is when they confirmed that prior to her relationship with Alsina, they had been “going through a very difficult time.”
“I was done with your ass,” Smith said in the episode.
“Yeah, you kicked me to the curb,” Pinkett Smith responded. “We broke up.”
What we’re only finding out now is that the couple never actually got back together.
Jada Pinkett Smith reveals even more details about their relationship in her upcoming memoir, Worthy, which hits bookshelves on October 17.
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