Jada Pinkett Smith on the moment she realized Will Smith was dating Chris Rock – The Hollywood Reporter

NBC wasted no time in delving into the “why” of its exclusive sit-down interview with the polarizing Jada Pinkett Smith Jada’s Story: An NBC News Special with Hoda Kotb.

The broadcast began with a picture of Pinkett Smith’s husband Will Smith punching Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards, and Pinkett Smith expressed her disbelief at that moment with, “I looked at Will and said, ‘You punched Chris’.” , while she physically appeared on screen while he said the words “Like you actually hit Chris” and he said “yes.”

More images of the slap heard around the world were played before the previously dropped bombshell that she and Smith had been living separate lives since 2016 and that Chris Rock had asked her out. When the special finally begins, Kotb is with Pinkett Smith at her old high school, the Baltimore School for the Arts. But it doesn’t take long before another famous man in her life, legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, who she met when they were both students there, becomes the center of attention.

Describing Shakur as “charismatic” with a “beautiful smile” and a “little peanut head,” Pinkett Smith beamed about their immediate connection but also downplayed any romantic connection. She even shared that she dared him to kiss her when they were in high school, and when they did, she insisted that they both agreed that “that wasn’t for either of us.” was”.

Your memoirs Worthy, which will be released on October 17th, is the trigger for the interview. Although the slap, as it is now called, is the main subject of this NBC spotlight, the book helped focus the interview on Pinkett Smith, at least early on, so that she could talk about her suicidal thoughts and not surprise Kotb and others privately about hers Interview with Sway Calloway in 2017 for his SiriusXM show Sway in the morning where she told publicly for the first time that she was a teenage drug dealer. But she revealed to Kotb that it was crack and even discussed a passage in her book about having her door kicked in and two guns held to her head as her drugs and other valuables were stolen were stolen. Finally her mother, who was a drug addict at the time, explains the situation to her.

After leaving college, she went to Los Angeles to pursue acting and received support from Keenen Ivory Wayans, who helped her find an agent, and then from Debbie Allen, who cast the character of the Lena James, a series regular on the now classic television show, Another world, when she was just 19 years old. Her success also allowed the special to bring Shakur, who also appeared with her on the hit series, back into the spotlight.

From there, her life began with Smith, who she first met while auditioning for his classic sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is more centered. When the two became friends three years later, Smith was married with a son. When her mother disapproved of her dealings with a married man, Pinkett Smith cut off all contact until a year later, when Smith was going through a divorce, he called her and told her, “You see me now.”

During their courtship, their careers blossomed and she played the lead role Turn it off And Mad Professor 2 and Smith in Bad Boys, independence Day And Men in Black. They married before their son, actor and musician Jaden Smith, was born, followed by Willow Smith. As glamorous and happy as it seemed, this Girls trip The star opened up about her depression and shared that she even planned to stage her suicide as a car crash on Hollywood’s notoriously winding Mullholland Drive. She announced that a herbal psychedelic, which is largely illegal in the USA, freed her.

As the conversation continued, Smith denied rumors that she and Smith were each gay, insisting to Kotb that “none of that [those rumors are] TRUE.” What was true was her “entanglement” with singer August Alsina. Pinkett Smith publicly addressed the scandal that broke out in 2020 on her hit Facebook Watch show Conversation at the Red Table, with Smith at her side at his urging, she shared. This move, Kotb noted, “looks like this guy is being humiliated on national television.” Pinkett Smith agreed that it sparked a backlash against her, as she was seen as “the adulterous woman who forced him into marriage.” go” was perceived Table and sit there.” After the slap it got even worse.

Pinkett Smith addressed Smith’s physical breakup since 2016, with NBC playing a clip of it Watch what happens live with Andy Cohen a year later he announced that they were back together after more than 20 years of marriage. In response, Kotb said, “I feel like you’re an honest speaker,” with Pinkett Smith responding, “I am,” and Kotb interjected, “Except sometimes you’re not.” Pinkett Smith then led the reasons why she and Smith had not previously disclosed their separation.

“I promised that there would never be any reason for us to divorce. We’ll get through everything, and I just couldn’t break that promise,” she offered.

The revelation of the split further complicates the events of last year’s infamous Oscar night. Noting that the couple seemed to have a romantic connection, Kotb asked about the people who feel “Jada and Will have betrayed us…They’ve been putting on a fake show for years,” to which Pinkett Smith replied, “Between There is deep love for us.”

Before the Oscars were in full swing, Pinkett Smith, as NBC reported, was already worried about Rock and her rocking 2016 Oscars when he made her part of his banter for being an actress after that year’s all-white nomination decided to boycott the show. Still, as she rolled her eyes GI Jane 2 As she wiped her nearly bald head, the result of her battle with alopecia, she insisted she had no idea Smith had actually beaten Rock.

When Smith insisted that Rock not use his “wife’s name,” Pinkett Smith said she was taken aback by Rock’s use of the word “wife.” She also shared that he got even angrier when Rock tried to apologize to her during commercial breaks, presumably even angrier that the comedian was talking to her. She explained it as “just some old crap” between them, but still didn’t realize Smith had hit Rock until his publicist told her, “Chris has left the building and won’t be pressing charges,” which, from the look on her face, still is case she was shocked.

However, no one asked Smith to leave before he won his first Oscar for his starring role as Venus and Serena Williams’ father King Richard. The public criticism she felt for his actions that night could be attributed to “the false narrative that I helped create.” Red table” as an “adulterous wife,” she explained. “Now look at what she did: with an eye roll, she has the power to make him go up there and hit someone,” she smiled in disbelief.

Despite all the long-standing and recent drama in their relationship, she told Kotb that they wouldn’t get an “amicable divorce” because “we don’t want to do that” … “because we love our family and each other.” When asked how she When it comes to dating other people, Pinkett Smith responded, “Right now we’re focused on deep healing, which has been so beautiful.”

Asked about the possibility of a full reconciliation, Pinkett Smith joked: “He’s getting old, who’s going to be there for him, Hoda?” It’ll be me. It will be me.

Finally, Pinkett Smith emphasized that at this point in her life, she actually feels “worthy” of love and other good things.

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