For many people, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have an ideal marriage. They are considered a pillar when it comes to Hollywood relationships and the couple has weathered numerous controversies in 23-year marriage. However, as proven by recent events, not everything is as they seem. After all, as mere observers, we are only privy to what they want us to see.
With the current entanglement the Smiths have found themselves in, it’s important to view things from an unbiased perspective. There’s three sides to this unfolding story and here’s everything we know about it.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett: How They Met
Will Smith: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
It was in 1994 when the two met on the set of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Their first meeting was quite brief, however. Pinkett-Smith auditioned for a role on the show, but didn’t get cast because she was too short. Although she didn’t land a spot on the show, Pinkett-Smith won over someone else: Will Smith.
Did you know that despite the fact that they are both actors, the couple has never starred in a film or show together? That doesn’t mean they haven’t collaborated, though. They have helped produce a number of films through Overbrook Entertainment, their joint production company.
In 1995, The Couple Officially Started Dating
It wasn’t all smooth-sailing for them in the beginning. At the time they met, Smith was still married to his first wife, Sheree Fletcher. This left him with a difficult choice: stay with Sheree Fletcher or pursue Jada Pinkett Smith.
The actor recalled a time when he was out at dinner with Fletcher, but found himself enjoying the time he spent with Pinkett-Smith much more. He knew Pinkett-Smith was the woman he was supposed to be with, but he also knew in himself that he was never getting divorced. Despite his growing feelings for another woman, Smith instead opted to remain faithful to his wife at the time.
A Turning Point
Fletcher would eventually end things with Smith, giving the actor the opportunity to finally try and win over Pinkett-Smith. It seemed luck was on his side, for the actress was not seeing anybody when Smith pursued her. When the two started dating, Pinkett-Smith packed and moved from Baltimore to California.
Smith and Fletcher finalized their divorce later that same year. The former couple have one son together, Trey Smith.
By 1997, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Were Married
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett: Wedding
View this post on Instagram
20 Years Ago Today we held hands and walked naively down that aisle. Here’s what I’ve learned since. . Love is Like Gardening… I have learned to focus on HELPING you to BLOSSOM into what YOU want to be (into what you were born to be)… Rather than Demanding that you become what my Fragile Ego needs you to be. . I’ve learned to take pleasure in Nourishing YOUR dreams… Rather than wrestling with you to Fulfill my Selfish Needs & Satiate My Insecurities. . I have learned that Love is Listening. Love is Giving. Love is Freedom. . Happy Anniversary, My Queen! I am forever Devoted to Nurturing your Deepest Truth.
The actor officially asked for Pinkett-Smith’s hand in November 1997. A day after their engagement, the couple found out they were expecting a child. Eventually, they were wed in a private ceremony in Baltimore, but it wasn’t the fairytale people might imagine. Pinkett-Smith spoke of it during a Red Table Talk.
“I was so upset that I had to have a wedding,” she remembered. “I was so pissed. I went crying down the freakin’ aisle getting married.”
As it turned out, Pinkett-Smith was never one for marriage. The concept was not something she had wholly embraced, hence her emotional response to walking down the aisle.
Between 1998 and 2000, The Couple Welcomed Their Children, Jaden and Willow Smith
Jaden Smith, the couple’s eldest, was born in 1998. Jaden’s younger sister, Willow, was born in 2000. Both have since joined the entertainment business and are multi-hyphenate artists. They do, indeed, take after their celebrity parents. For starters, Jaden is an established actor and recording artist, who has worked with his father on two productions.
Meanwhile, Willow makes music and dabbles in a bit of acting. She is also a co-host on the Red Table Talk series. Besides having her mom as a co-host on the show, Willow is also joined by her grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones.
A Family Affair
The Smiths are the picture of an ideal family and the tight-bond between each member is undeniable. Despite how the media might spin things, all the Smith siblings — Jaden, Willow, and Trey — have good relationships with each other.
Jada’s closeness with her stepson was also praised by the media. Reports suggest that she also had a friendship with Trey’s mother, Smith’s ex-wife Sheree Fletcher. The actress even invited Smith’s ex for a chat on an episode of Red Table Talk. If there were any struggles in the family, such as the relationship between Will Smith and Trey, they were often the first to publicly speak about it.
From an outsider’s point of view, it seems as if the Smiths have a close-to-perfect family situation.
Rumors of Them Being in an Open Relationship Began Surfacing in April 2013
It all started with an interview Pinkett-Smith gave HuffPost Live. The comments she made about her marriage certainly piqued many people’s curiosities, leading some to assume that she was hinting at an open relationship. According to Pinkett-Smith:
“I’ve always told Will, ‘You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay,’” she said. “Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I’m here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that’s not for me to do for him. Or vice versa.”
Following the negative rumors that began to spread about her marriage, the actress decided to speak up regarding the matter. In a Facebook post, Pinkett-Smith clarified the truth behind her words. In it, she talks about how there were other things of greater importance than speaking about her supposed open marriage, but she felt the need to address the issue anyway.
She highlighted the importance of trust and love in a relationship, and how these can co-exist. Pinkett-Smith has full faith that while her husband has freedom, he will do the right thing for their family.
Smith’s Two Cents
Despite the negativity thrown their way and the lingering rumors of a possible divorce, the couple and their marriage remained rock solid. They appeared in red carpet events together and clarified persistent speculations about a potential split. Smith took cues from his wife and made a Facebook post about the situation as well. The actor’s take was less serious than his wife’s response, though.
Margot Robbie and Will Smith Suicide Squad
It was within the same year that rumors of the actor and Margot Robbie being in a relationship began to surface. The actors were shooting a different film at the time, prior to the release of the Suicide Squad. Both kept mum about the issues, neither confirming or denying it. The rumor eventually died down on its own.
Then Came August Alsina and His Revelations
Just as things were starting to clear for the Smiths, singer-songwriter August Alsina came along with an internet-breaking confession. Prior to this, fans and spectators alike were already spotting clues in his lyrics and music videos. There were theories that suggested some of his work might be hinting at a previous relationship with Pinkett-Smith.
Alsina’s 2019 track “Nunya” further fueled people’s curiosities about him and the Red Table Talk host. The lyrics go, “You got me feeling like it was an act, you’re just an actress/Putting on a show ’cause you don’t want the world to know.”
Eagle-eyed fans also noted that in the music video for the song, he was texting a woman named Koren. It’s worth noting that Koren is Pinkett-Smith’s middle name. While there has been speculation that the two were in an affair, it wasn’t until recently that Alsina publicly discussed the real deal between himself and the actress.
So why speak now?
In a now viral video of his interview with the Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee, Alsina didn’t hold back on spilling about his alleged previous relationship with Pinkett-Smith. He cites that that because his character was being called into question, he felt the need to honor his authenticity. The artist goes on to say that he has lost money and friendships because of the rumors that had circulated regarding his involvement with Pinkett-Smith.
Talk About The Smiths’ Supposed Open Marriage Began Resurfacing
While there were many questionable claims throughout the interview, there was one confession that made people wonder if Alsina really was speaking the truth. He boldly claims that Smith gave his affair with Pinkett-Smith his blessing.
“I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation … He gave me his blessing,” he said. “And I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really, deeply loved and have a ton of love for her.”
During the interview, he also discussed how speaking his truth was “difficult” because not many people are able to understand polyamory and consensual monogamy. This brought up past rumors of the Smiths having an open marriage, which they vehemently denied at the time.
So, who is telling the truth between the Smiths and Alsina?
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Come Clean
The confession from the 27-year-old artist opened a Pandora’s box of rumors and secrets between the couple. Their marriage was, once again, the topic of tabloid fodder. Some even questioned the honesty of the family image they have curated throughout the years. On July 2, just days after the news dropped, Pinkett-Smith took to Twitter to announce she was clearing the air by discussing the matter with her husband — on Red Table Talk.
Across the board, people had different expectations as to what might happen, but few expected the revelatory 12-minute episode of Red Table Talk that followed. It featured a somber-looking Pinkett-Smith seated across her husband, with the two presenting a vulnerable image—a stark contrast to how the audiences often see the Smiths in popular media.
Of Entanglements and Their Unpublicized Marriage Break
Pinkett-Smith’s honesty was refreshing as she explained the “entanglement” between her and Alsina. The actress opened up about the relationship, while Smith listened intently. Together, they would then go on to clarify that the relationship happened while Smith and his wife were on a brief break from their marriage—a little over four years ago.
Pinkett-Smith first met Alsina at the Wireless Festival in London, which she attended in support of Willow and Jaden. Of her entanglement with artist and how it began, the actress said that she simply wanted to help with his health and mental state. From there, however, a relationship bloomed.
For Pinkett-Smith, she learned to confront many things about herself during the period. This includes her emotional immaturity and insecurity. Despite going through a difficult period, the actress claims it allowed her to do some deep healing.
Will Smith and The Affair
To clear the air, the actor never gave his blessing to the affair between Pinkett-Smith and Alsina. Despite the sadness in his face, Will Smith also maintained a touch of humor throughout. He took on a joking tone when discussing their marriage break.
His flustered expression may have launched a thousand memes following the Red Table Talk episode, but it says plenty of his feelings about the “entanglement” and the issue at hand. The second time Pinkett-Smith used the word in their conversation, he reacted more vocally: “An entanglement? A relationship.”
The Social Media Circus
A day after the aforementioned Red Table Talk episode was posted, it garnered over 15 million viewers worldwide. Some praised the couple for the vulnerability that they showed, but there were those who dismissed it as nothing more than a savvy PR stunt. After all, their initial response was to deny the whole thing.
Just hours after the episode, the word “entanglement” topped online searches. It became a trending “celebrity euphemism” in the same way Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s “conscious uncoupling” did. Even other celebrities jumped on the bandwagon, with 50 Cent posting edited message exchanges with Smith and Erykah Baduh advertising a limited run of “Entanglement” incense.
Once everyone moved on from the jokes and gave their two cents about the situation, where did this leave the very real people involved in the affair? As per BuzzFeed, August Alsina has yet to really drop the subject, which led to further complications on his end. In fact, Alsina even recently put out a track called Entanglements — a clear reference to his involvement with Pinkett-Smith.
Nevertheless, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith both seem ready to detangle themselves from the drama and move on. They do have a family to protect, after all. While it’s clear that this has tainted the image they’ve taken good care of over years, we believe it all boils down to one thing. Going full circle to a message that Pinkett-Smith has been quite firm on even before the controversy broke:
“You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay.”