Actor Jada Pinkett Smith unloaded several revelations in the build-up towards the release of her memoir, Worthy. She said in an interview that she has been separated from husband Will Smith since 2016, and that the only reason they haven’t officially divorced is because of a promise they made to each other.
In an interview with People, Jada also commented about the infamous incident at the 2022 Oscars, when Will Smith walked up on stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock, who’d made a joke at her expense. She said that the situation is for the two men to sort out themselves, but admitted that she has had a history with Chris Rock.
She revealed that on one of the many occasions that she and Will were rumoured to have split, Chris asked her out. “I think every summer all the reports would come out that me and Will were getting a divorce. And this particular summer, Chris, he thought that we were getting a divorce. So he called me and basically he was like, ‘I’d love to take you out.’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ He was like, ‘Well, aren’t you and Will getting a divorce?’ I was like, ‘No. Chris, those are just rumors.’ He was appalled. And he profusely apologized and that was that,” she said.
She said that she hasn’t spoken to the comedian since the Oscars incident, but revealed that he walked up to her immediately after the slap and apologised for having hurt her feelings. “He said, ‘I didn’t mean you any harm.’ I said, ‘I can’t talk about this now, Chris. This is some old s—’,” she said, adding that she thought that he was talking about their earlier beef in the lead-up to the 2016 Oscars, which Jada had boycotted in support of the #OscarsSoWhite movement. Chris Rock, who hosted the event, had made a joke at Jada’s expense even then.
She said that she initially thought that the slap was a part of a ‘skit’, and realised that it was real only after Will started walking back towards her from the stage. “From where I was sitting I couldn’t tell. It didn’t look like Will hit Chris, because, number one, I’d seen Will in the boxing ring with pro fighters — Will’s a heavy-hitter. So when Chris moved, it looked like he ducked or he missed the shot. And when he continued to stand, and then when he continued to walk down to the end of the stage, I was like, ‘There’s no way. There’s no way that Will hit him’,” she said.
Will Smith has apologised for his actions, and has been banned by the Academy for 10 years. He won an Oscar for his performance in King Richard minutes after the slap, and was campaigned for another award last year, for his performance in Emancipation.