Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap strengthened his bond with Jada Pinkett Smith after years of separation. Jada Pinkett Smith discussed how the 2022 incident changed their relationship on the November 14 episode of CBS Mornings.
“What I will say is that being there with him that night, what I did know was that I might not have walked in there as his wife, but I left that night as his wife,” she told host Nate Burleson. “And as I sit here today, I am going to be by his side always.”
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith at the 94th Academy Awards. At the time, the public did not not the couple was separated. Will Smith referred to Jada Pinkett Smith as his wife after slapping Rock. She said his comment “shocked” her because they had not called each other husband and wife in “a long time.”
Last month, Jada Pinkett Smith revealed she has been separated from Will Smith since 2016. The couple never filed for divorce but lived “completely separate lives.” Jada Pinkett Smith told CBS Mornings the separation worked for her.
“I would say that that separation did work,” she said. “Because I really feel like for myself, I needed time for emotional maturity. Really looking at—first of all, I was in a deep healing process and I really needed to dissolve some false ideas of what marriage is. False ideas of what I thought Will needed to be for me, versus what I needed to learn to be for myself, in order to have a loving relationship. So, I had to really do some deep healing.”
Jada Pinkett Smith wrote about her marriage in her memoir Worthy, which dropped in October. The book debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.