Jada Pinkett Smith Clarified That She And Will Smith Are Working On “Healing” Their Marriage After The Oscars Slap Made Her Want To Recommit Amid Their Separation

“When I was sitting at the Oscars, it clicked in,” Jada said in a new interview. “I was like, ‘I’m riding with you… I am not gonna leave your side.’”

Jada Pinkett Smith is setting the record straight on the current nature of her relationship with Will Smith, days after revealing that they’ve been secretly separated since 2016.

closeup of the couple sitting at a table for an awards show

For context, over the past week, Jada has dropped a number of major bombshells about her personal life while promoting her memoir, Worthy, which hit shelves today.

closeup of her and will

The biggest headline came last Wednesday when Jada revealed during an exclusive NBC special with Hoda Kotb that she and Will have been living “completely separate lives” since 2016.

jada and hoda talking during the interview

Despite taking a step back from their marriage seven years ago, the couple — who tied the knot in 1997 and share two children: Jaden, 25, and Willow, 22 — decided to keep their separation private.

the family together at an awards show

During the wide-ranging interview, Jada explained that their marriage was “fractured” by “a lot of things.”

“By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying,” she said. “I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”

hoda talking to jada outside

In a separate profile with the New York Times, she also said that she and Will haven’t lived together in two years.

will kissing jada's cheek

Interestingly, in her initial interview with Hoda, Jada was keen to emphasize that in spite of their separation, she and Will are not considering a divorce, saying: “I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce… We will work through whatever.”

With all of this in mind, the revelation that Jada and Will have been separated for so long came as a surprise, particularly in light of the fact that they’ve continued to make public appearances as a couple.

Perhaps most notably, Will and Jada attended the 94th Academy Awards together in March 2022, which was the night that Will won his first Oscar and slapped Chris Rock on stage after the comedian made a joke at Jada’s expense.

will holding up his award on stage

Of course, the incident was baffling enough at the time. However, it’s now been made all the more confusing by the new revelation that Will and Jada were separated when it happened.

will slapping chris on stage

Reflecting on the controversial moment last week, Jada told Hoda that she was “really shocked” that Will referred to her as his “wife” after slapping Chris.

“We haven’t called each other husband and wife in a long time,” she recalled. “I’m like, ‘What is going on right now? Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth?’ I’m really worried for Will because I don’t know what’s going on.”

And now, after a whole lot of confusion over the past week, Jada is attempting to make it clear that she and Will are actually working on rebuilding their relationship.

closeup of the two at an event

“There’s no finding another great love, and I think that’s the point,” she said during a subsequent interview with Hoda that aired on Monday. “It’s like we are in a place now that we are in a deep, healing space. And we are really concentrating on healing the relationship between us.”

closeup of jada

In light of Jada’s previous admissions, Hoda was understandably confused by the update and asked the actor to confirm whether or not she and Will might be “back together.”

hoda with her arms stretched out in question during the interview with jada

“We are working very hard at bringing our relationship together… back to a life partnership,” she said, adding: “He can’t be this perfect idealized husband. I have to be able to accept him for the human he is.”

What’s more, Jada also confirmed that there’s a possibility that she and Will may end up living together again.

Shedding more light on the potential reconciliation, Jada confessed in another interview later that day that it was actually the Oscars slap that sparked her desire to work on the marriage again.

“When I was sitting at the Oscars, it clicked in. As soon as I was like, ‘Oh snap, you hit Chris?’” she said during a sitdown conversation in partnership with CAA and Vanity Fair on Monday night, admitting that she and Will “did some really deep work together” following the memorable ceremony.

“I was like, ‘I’m riding with you,’” she remembered of her sudden change of heart. “‘I didn’t come into this place as your wife, but I’m leaving here as your wife because we got a storm we’re going to have to deal with together. I am not gonna leave your side.’”

jada promoting her book

For his part, Will has been supportive of Jada and her memoir. In a letter published by the New York Times last week, he wrote: “I applaud and honor you. If I had read this book 30 years ago, I definitely would have hugged you more. I'll start now. Welcome to the author's club.”

Jada’s new memoir, Worthy, is now available to purchase.

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