“We live separately,” the actress and talk show host revealed in an NBC News interview, but they have not divorced.
Rumors about one of Hollywood’s most famous couples have now been put to rest: The actress Jada Pinkett Smith has confirmed that she and Will Smith have been separated, though not legally divorced, for about seven years.
Pinkett Smith, also a talk-show host, shared the revelation in an interview with NBC News, previews of which were shown on Wednesday. The interview is part of a round of media appearances that Pinkett Smith is making to promote the publication of her new memoir, “Worthy.”
In the interview from Baltimore with anchor Hoda Kotb, which is set to be broadcast in full in a prime-time special on Friday, Pinkett Smith said she and Smith had decided in 2016 to live separate lives. The detail is among the intimacies revealed in the memoir, which will be released on Oct. 17.
“Why it fractured — that’s a lot of things,” Pinkett Smith said of her relationship with Smith, an Academy-Award-winning actor. “I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying.”
“We were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be,” she added.
Among one of the longest and well-known celebrity partnerships, the pair built a high-profile family after marrying in 1997. They have two children together, Jaden Smith and Willow Smith, both of whom are also entertainers.
The status of the pair’s near-26-year marriage has long endured gossip, but they have also been open about their struggles. In 2013, Pinkett Smith batted down speculation that the couple had an open relationship in a Facebook post, describing it not as “open” but as “grown.”
The couple later shared more private details about their marriage in a viral 2020 episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith’s talk show. Pinkett Smith revealed then that the couple broke up for a time and she began an “entanglement” with the singer August Alsina. “You and I were going through a very difficult time,” said Pinkett Smith in a discussion with Smith.
“I was done with you,” Smith responded, adding that the pair had decided to go their separate ways. “I really felt like we could be over.”
That separation, it now appears, was more permanent than the couple initially portrayed it, even as they have reaffirmed their commitment to each other as partners over the years. The actress said she did not tell the public because the two were not “ready yet” as their partnership was evolving. “How do we present that to people? And we hadn’t figured that out,” she said.
Their relationship drew more attention during the Academy Awards ceremony in 2022, when Smith slapped the comedian Chris Rock onstage during the broadcast after he made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle. The moment, which stunned audiences and sparked discourse so widespread that it became known simply as The Slap, led organizers to ban Smith from attending the Oscars for ten years.
The couple have been separated since 2016, but have not filed for divorce. “I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through whatever,” Pinkett said in previews of the NBC interview. “I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”
(Source: nytimes )
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