Euronews Culture sat down with Jada Pinkett Smith to discuss her reflections on the infamous Oscars slap, her relationship with husband Will Smith and her new bombshell memoir.
In the glitzy atmosphere of the 2022 Academy Awards, all eyes were on Jada Pinkett Smith as she occupied the front-row seat, alongside her husband Will Smith, who was nominated for a Best Actor award.
It was a night filled with anticipation and star-studded glamour, but the evening took an unexpected turn when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on live television, after the comedian made a joke about Jada's alopecia condition.
Will's iconic line, forever etched in pop-culture history, reverberated through the audience: "Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth!"
Little did the world know at the time that the pair had been separated since 2016, as Jada has recently revealed during promotion for her new memoir, 'Worthy'.
"I might not have walked in here as your wife, but I'm leaving here as your wife. I'm going to need to be by your side through this," Jada told Euronews Culture.
Jada's gripping account of that unforgettable night is just one chapter of her story. In her newly released book, she delves into her challenging childhood, the intricacies of her marriage, and a life filled with remarkable twists and turns.
Euronews Culture sat down with the actress to discuss the slap incident, the intricate dynamics of her marriage to Will, and how she deals with the relentless public scrutiny.
It's been quite a week of news for you and your family. You've announced that you and your husband, Will, have been separated since 2016. How has that been working on a day-to-day basis for you guys?
So Will and I were going through this separation since 2016. Once he finished Emancipation, he really had a difficult, challenging time on that movie, and a lot of stuff was coming up for him, and he asked to go back into some therapeutic spaces with me. We were going through some really deep therapy and then he gets nominated for an Oscar. And he says, 'Listen there's nobody else I want to share this moment with than you - will you be by my side doing this?.' And I was like, 'Absolutely, I want to share this moment with you as well.'
So we go to the Oscars and I'm not there as his wife, I'm there as a family member. And we're still figuring things out. And then the event happens. And that's when I knew in that moment that my instinct was I might not have walked in here as your wife, but I'm leaving here as your wife. I'm going to need to be by your side through this.
And so ever since then, the Oscars have definitely brought us together in a way that I didn't imagine. Look, everybody wants to be there to ride the limo. Nobody wants to ride, in the busted bus. But I realise that that's part of what being a life partnership is about. That was just the moment that I just realised that we're what we got.
You're a businesswoman. You have a multi-million pound business that you've built. I mean, for instance the production company that you guys share...
Yeah. I wanted to take my time to really do the healing that I needed to do because I didn't want to get into a separation or get into a divorce that would create a bloodbath. I just was not going to do that and I wasn't going to have lawyers get involved in a conflict between Will and I.
We work really well in those partnerships. We didn't want to throw out things that were actually working because the marriage at that time was not. We were not going to do that. And so that's when we started to develop a way for us to navigate this new relationship that we had. And I'm really glad that we were able to do it that way because I would have really regretted going through a messy divorce. And I know some people have to do that, but that just wasn't the process that I wanted.
And so along the way, we've been able to build a beautiful business together, strengthen our family, build some other businesses together. So it's been it's been nice.
How would you define your relationship now?
He's definitely my life partner. And he's the person that I'm going to grow old with. And we are really enjoying a level of autonomy that we found in this process. And we have this new interdependence that's starting to happen.
Will and I got together at a really young age, and so we were stuck in some really young people patterns. And so I really feel like we had to mature. And so then coming back together with a new level of maturity and being able to see the importance of interdependence has just been the way. And so along the way, we had to just figure things out. I moved out of the family home and got a home of my own because I really needed to feel what it was like to just be with me.
How do you mentally navigate and stay committed to your position in the face of public criticism and differing opinions, especially when dealing with potential backlash?
We are good! It's like anybody else that has a problem with it - sorry, you don't count. You It is Will and I are good. The kids and the family, we're good. It's like, we're happy. We're a happy little, group. And Will and I are better than we've ever been before. And so Will and just sit back and go, this is unbelievable. And it's so beautiful that we can just kind of chuckle at it together and support each other.
Why come out now and say it?
It's not that I chose to come out now. It was just the publishing company said 'This is the right time' (laughs).
That's a nice segue to get your book 'Worthy' mentioned.
Yeah. I wouldn't have chosen this particular time, trust me. But in December of 2021, when I decided to write the book. So then the publishing company decides when the book is going to drop.