Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s telling past interviews about their marriage are continuing to garner new attention amid her revelation that she had a past relationship with singer August Alsina while she and Will were broken up.
Jada, 48, acknowledged her past relationship with 27-year-old August during an emotional episode of her Facebook Watch show, “Red Table Talk”, that aired on Friday. She and 51-year-old Will candidly discussed their decision to separate, before eventually getting back together. Jada shared that while she did have an “entanglement” with August when she and Will were “done,” she rejected August’s statement that Will gave him his permission, noting that only she could give herself permission in this particular situation.
In a resurfaced 2001 interview with Vibe magazine, Jada talked about needing “freedom” when asked about what type of relationship advice she would give her kids, Jaden and Willow. Jada and Will have been married since 1997.
“I probably won’t put restrictions on [Willow] in a [harsh] way, because, being female myself, I understand the type of freedom a young girl needs,” Jada said at the time, before clarifying what she meant by “freedom.” “But when I talk about freedom, I mean you have to have a sense of responsibility. That’s very difficult in our culture, because we’re basically selling being a ho as what it is to be a woman today. If you’re not a ho, then you’re not really down or you’re not really hip.”
“I don’t talk about freedom in that sense — basically just giving it away to whomever you want,” she continued. “There was a time when Black women were very uptight about their sexuality. I think right now we’re going through a space where we’re finding our freedom as far as our sexuality, but I think we’re going to our next extreme. We’re going to find that middle ground. I hope by the time my daughter is of age we’ll be at that space.”
Jada also shared that Will was her first monogamous relationship and that he taught her about commitment.
“When I was younger, I wasn’t living right either,” she acknowledged of her past relationships. “I can’t really say that someone did anything so bad to me, because whatever they did, I deserved it.”
“You can say it however you want … I was young in Hollywood,” she continued with a laugh. “I didn’t know about relationship and commitment. Unfortunately, that’s something that we’re not really taught, especially in our households. Most of us come from very dysfunctional places. Will is the first monogamous relationship I’ve had. I never knew what it took to have a healthy relationship or what commitment was all about.”
In the revealing interview, Jada had no problem sharing that she and Will had intense chemistry in the bedroom, but she also stressed that they had a “spiritual connection.”
“The friendship even deepens sexual connection,” she said. “When all of that is tied in together, it never gets tired. You have your times when you’re kind of slow — if you’re working, or during pregnancy. That’s why it’s important to have that friendship and that spiritual connection. That’s what keeps it all together until the physical aspect of it booms back in, because everybody has their slow times.”
When ET spoke with Jada in October 2018 after her and Will’s extremely revealing two-part “Red Table Talk” episode together, she also talked about needing “freedom” and feeling restricted.
“I just felt like, I needed more freedom,” Jada said about the issue between her and Will after they acknowledged they hit a rough spot in their marriage when Jada cried for 45 days straight. “And freedom in the sense of like … the public wants you to be a certain way, your family needs you in a certain way, your partner needs you to be something. And for me, that just was never … I’m really a free spirit at heart, I really am. And I always have been. And I just felt like my life had got constricted into this little box and it was strangling me, basically.”
Ultimately, she told ET that it wasn’t up to Will to resolve the issue in their marriage.
“It wasn’t his fix,” she said. “And so it was really me having … People very rarely talk about the courage it takes to be happy — how much bravery it takes to be happy. And really, that’s what I needed to gain, was the courage and the bravery to do what Jada needed to do, to be happy, you know? And that was to dissolve everything that was and create something completely different.”
Interestingly enough, in a resurfaced video taken from Will’s Instagram Story in 2018, he was “retired” from trying to make Jada happy.
“I literally said to Jada, ‘That’s it. I retire. I retire from trying to make you happy. I need you to go make yourself happy and just prove to me that it’s even possible,'” he said. “And after we cracked the hell up, we started talking about how we came into this false romantic concept that somehow when we got married that we would become one. And what we realized is that we were two completely separate people on two completely separate individual journeys and that we were choosing to walk our separate journeys together. Her happiness was her responsibility and my happiness was my responsibility.”
“We decided that we were going to find our individual, internal private separate joy and then we were going to present ourselves to the relationship and to each other already happy,” he added at the time. “Not coming to each other begging with our empty cups out, demanding that she fill my cup and demanding that she meet my needs. It’s unfair and it’s kind of unrealistic and can be destructive to place the responsibility for your happiness on anybody other than yourself.”
These days, Jada and Will said their union is stronger than ever.
“I am just grateful for the journey you and I have had together,” Jada told Will on Friday’s “Red Table Talk”. “Because I feel like there are a lot of couples who go through those periods and have to separate and think it is over. The one thing I will say about you and I, there has never been secrets.”
“It’s the idea of any relationship and trying to get to a deeper understanding of love is going to be forced in fire,” she added. “There is no way around it and I think that one of the things I am deeply grateful in this whole process between you and I is that we have really gotten to that new place of unconditional love.”
Meanwhile, Will noted, “We came together young and we were both broken in our own ways, and to be able to make mistakes without the fear of losing your family is so critical. … There is a real power in the just knowing someone is riding with you no matter what. And you really can’t know that until you’ve been through some stuff. I don’t wanna go through this no more.”
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