Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith spoke openly about their more than 20-year relationship on the first episode of the Season 1 return of Red Table Talk, Jada’s Facebook talk show. The often private Hollywood couple revealed how they met, feeling pressure to get married and rocky moments in their marriage.
Will and Jada shared memories of their first encounters. Jada said she first met Will when she auditioned to play his girlfriend on the hit 90s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ironically, the 5-foot actress was told she was too short for the part.
After the rapper-actor saw his wife on the series A Different World, he said, “I know there was something in our energy that would be magic.” Being able to pick the right partner is something he has thrived at and disclosed he felt that seem feeling the first time he met DJ Jazzy Jeff, his longtime producer, and Alfonso Ribeiro, his series co-star.
It was Ribeiro, who Jada admittedly went on one date with, that agreed to take Will to meet his wife. Instead of meeting the Red Table Talk host, he encountered Sheree, who became his first wife and the mother of his son, Trey.
After his divorce, Will said he called Jada up and told her they were an item. From there, the couple shared a story about learning the limits in their relationship and Will having a hard line on what he would tolerate on the communication front. They agreed not to use profanity or yell at each other because of the domestic abuse Will saw growing up in his home.
In 1997, the couple got married while a reluctant Jada was three months pregnant with their son, Jaden. Although Will said he knew since he was 5-years-old that he wanted a wife and children, Jada said she never wanted to be married. It was her mother who nudged them into jumping the broom and having a wedding ceremony.
“I never really agreed with the construct [of marriage]. I just don’t agree with it. I never have, and I still don’t,” Jada said.
“Until death do us part is real for me. It’s just all the rules and ideas. The acceptable definition of wife and the paradigm, I’m not with that.”
Despite the hesitation and a period of when Will said Jada “woke up and cried for 45 days straight,” the family survived through communication.
Red Table Talk features Jada and her celebrity guest confronting a different topic each week on Facebook.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.