Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are now a celebrity couple, but it seems that they had to work hard to be together. Originally, Will was married to Sheree Zampino, and they all would suffer many ups and downs before Will said “I do” to Jada. The Smiths have now spoken out on a Red Table Talk video, giving fans a remarkably in-depth look at how hard they’ve fought for their successful marriage.
Will Smith is one of the biggest names in showbiz. The young rapper began starring in the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air back in 1990, and it rocketed him towards the A-list. These days, he remains a bankable movie star, and his films have grossed billions of dollars.
For over 20 years, Smith has been married to Jada Koren Pinkett, now Jada Pinkett Smith. She’s also a successful actor, famous for shows and movies such as A Different World, The Nutty Professor, the Madagascar series and the last two Matrix films. Will and Jada have two children together, Willow and Jaden.
However, things weren’t always like that. Upon watching her in A Different World, Will felt a connection to Jada right away, but it would be the beginning of a very complicated situation. “I knew there was something in our energy that would be magic,” he said on Red Table Talk, with his wife, daughter and mother-in-law all present.
Will arranged with Alfonso Ribeiro, one of his Fresh Prince co-stars, to go the Different World set and meet Jada. Ribeiro knew someone there who could introduce them. But things didn’t go according to plan. “The dude who was going to introduce me to Jada was with another girl, and I was like, ‘Who is that?’” Will recalled. “And it was Sheree.”
Although Will had gone to the set specifically to see Jada, it was Sheree who actually caught his eye. And that would shape the course of the rest of his life. “I went to Different World to meet Jada and met Sheree, and ended up marrying Sheree and having Trey with Sheree,” Will said. Trey is his first son, Willow and Jaden’s half-brother.
After several “near misses” Will eventually did meet Jada in a California jazz club. “There was a really unique, beautiful power,” Will said. “We had that moment, we connected.” But by then, it was too late. Will and Sheree were married, and Will was apparently unwilling to break his wedding vows.
As Will told that part of the story, Jada looked at the camera and said, “We did not have an affair while he was married. Let’s be clear about that.” But after meeting Jada, Will explained, he was in emotional turmoil. “I had a realization that I wasn’t with the person I was supposed to be with,” Will stated.
Even though he was going through a whirlwind of confusion, Will claims that he had no intention of ever divorcing Sheree. He didn’t believe in the concept, apparently. “I don’t get divorced,” he said on Red Table Talk. But Sheree, however, did believe in it. “Sheree filed for divorce on Valentine’s Day,” Will explained, with a laugh.
Once the divorce was over and done with, Will says he called up Jada and asked her out. “I said, ‘Aye Jada, what’s up? It’s Will.’ She’s like, ‘Hey! How you doing?’” Will stated. “I said, ‘Good, are you seeing anybody?’ She said, ‘Uhh, no.’ I said, ‘Cool, you’re seeing me now.’” It worked perfectly, by all accounts. “My dumb ass was like, ‘Okay!’” Jada added.
After two years with Will, Jada became pregnant. She apparently didn’t want to marry him – Jada stated that she didn’t even believe in marriage – but her mother Adrienne reportedly talked her into it. “I’m sorry I didn’t respect your wishes,” Adrienne told her daughter on the show. The wedding day was “horrible” for Jada. “I went crying down the freaking aisle,” she claimed.
And there were fights in the early days, too. Will said that he told Jada, “I grew up in a household where I watched my father punch my mother in the face, and I will not create a house, a space, an interaction with a person where there is profanity and violence. If you have talk to me like that, we can’t be together.”
“We’re not going to use any profanity in our actions, we’re not going to raise our voice, we’re not going to be violent,” Will continued. “I can’t do it. I said, ‘Get out.’ [Jada] was like, ‘So wait, you would break up with me over some words?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I just did.’ Her eyes swelled up, and she was like, ‘Okay.’”
Unfortunately, more and more cracks started to show in their marriage, even as Will and Jada tried to remain all smiles for the cameras. “I was failing miserably, but on the outside I was winning,” Will stated. “I had a public perception that I wanted to project of our relationship, of the family, of my wife, of what the kids are, what we are in the world.”
The video – part one of two – ended with Jada saying that she had been at her lowest point back then. Fans who saw the interview praised both her and Will. “Thank you guys for being honest. Getting married is the easy part, it is the staying married that is the work,” one viewer wrote. “Thank you Will and Jada for being so transparent,” read another comment.
The subsequent Red Table Talk video discussed how Will and Jada had apparently “broke up within [their] marriage and got back together again.” Divorce was never an option for them, Will claimed. The pair focused on being apart and re-finding themselves, they said. “I had to go away, gain my strength as Jada again. Not Mommy, not wife,” Jada explained.
As for Will, he had a break from acting after his 2008 movie Seven Pounds. “I took off for two years. I’ve worked on myself, I’ve read 50 books on marriage and relationships and behavioral psychology,” he said. “I was not going to fail in this marriage. But I shut down for two entire years to see what I was doing wrong.”
Jada had a surprising revelation about what the pair decided to do in the end. “Will and I have decided to even throw away the concept of marriage,” she claimed. “It’s a life partnership in the sense that we created a foundation together that we know is for this lifetime.” Will added, “There’s nothing that could happen that we won’t be together and love each other.”
It seems that now, any difficulties are behind Will and Jada. Back in May 2018 Jada even interviewed Sheree for Red Table Talk. They discussed how they didn’t get along for a while, but then gradually grew to respect each other. “On this side of things, my son could not have a better bonus mom,” Sheree said to Jada.
So it seems like the whole family have a bright future ahead of them. Both Will and Jada have projects upcoming up – Aladdin for him and Angel Has Fallen for her – and their kids are becoming successful as well.