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Jada thought Will Smith oscars slap was a ‘Skit,’ reveals they were separated for six years

Jada Pinkett Smith says in new interview that she and Will "were just exhausted with trying" when they made the decision to lead separate lives.

Exclusive on TODAY — Jada Pinkett Smith have been separated with Will Smith since 2016

Jada Pinkett Smith reveals she and Will Smith have been separated since 2016: : ‘We’re Still Figuring Out’ Our Marriage’

Last year, Will, 55, smacked presenter Chris Rock on stage at the awards show after the latter made a joke about Jada’s hairstyle. It turns out, that the couple were actually separated for six years before the scandal.

The Hollywood couple’s marriage difficulties are mentioned in Jada Pinkett Smith’s upcoming book Worthy, out next week, which was the subject for a recent interview with Hoda Kotba that’s set to debut in full on Friday. In a clip, shared by the Today team on Wednesday, Hoda tells Jada it was this revelation that surprised her “the most” while reading the book. From there, Jada confirmed the two have been living “completely separate lives” since 2016.

“Why it fractured, that’s a lot of things,” Jada said. “I think by the time we got to 2016 we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both kind of still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”

However, Will and Jada are not divorced, and it sounds like that’s not currently in the cards. As Jada explained, she and Will “haven’t been able to break that promise” of working through "whatever" together. An actual divorce, however, was considered at one point.

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Additionally, Jada also spoke to People about the infamous Oscar night when Will slapped Chris Rock. “I thought, ‘This is a skit.’ Like many people watching the incident unfold on live TV, she didn’t believe it was real at first,” she told the outlet. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’ It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit.”


Jada and Will married in 1997, the same year Scream 2 and Men in Black were released. They have two children together, Jaden and Willow. Over the years, the couple's relationship has routinely been a source of headlines and speculation, including in connection with Will's slapping of Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards. That incident, often referred to as, simply, The Slap, has also been discussed amid coverage of Jada's new book.

Worthy is out Oct. 17


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