Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are the couple everyone can’t stop talking about, after Smith took it upon himself to slap comedian and Oscars presenter Chris Rock in the face over a “G.I. Jane 2” joke made at Pinkett’s expense.
Pinkett recently broke her silence on the incident in the first epsiode of her Red Table Talk show, in which a statement at the beginning of the episode said: “Considering all that has happened in the last few weeks, the Smith family has been focused on deep healing.
“Some of the discoveries around our healing with be shared when the time calls. Until then… the table will continue offering iteslf to powerful, inspiring and healing testimonies like that of our incredibly impressive first guest.
“Thanks for joining us, Jada.”
This is a full timeline of Smith and Pinkett’s relationship – from dating to marriage to that August Alsina “entanglement”, right up to when Smith took to the stage to hit Rock at the 2022 Oscars ceremony.
How did they meet and when did they start dating?
Smith and Pinkett met in 1994, when she auditioned for a role on Smith’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She had auditioned to play his character’s girlfriend, however she didn’t get the part.
While this was their first meeting, their relationship didn’t go any further than that as, at the time, Smith was married to his first wife, Sheree Zampino. He and Zampino got married in 1992 and they welcomed their son, Trey, into the world on 11 November that same year.
The two would eventually go their separate ways and, three years after getting married, divorced in 1995.
Speaking on a Father’s Day episode of Pinkett’s Red Table Talk show in 2020, Smith talked about his divorce from Zampino in which he said: “Divorce was the worst thing in my adult life, divorce was the ultimate failure for me.
“I’ve been hurt a lot in my adult life, but I don’t think anything touches the failure of getting divorced from my two-year-old son’s mother.”
In a different episode of Red Table Talk, in 2018, Smith talked about how, even though he had such a strong connection with Pinkett, he didn’t believe in divorce and therefore nothing happened between him and Pinkett whilst he was still married to Zampino.
Smith recalled breaking down into tears in a restaurant bathroom while out to dinner with Zampino. He said: “I had a realisation I wasn’t with the person I was supposed to be with.
“I was sitting in a stall and I was crying and laughing uncontrollably, and I knew [Pinkett] was the woman I was supposed to be with.”
Following his split from Zampino, Smith called up Pinkett and asked if she was seeing someone – when she replied that she was still single, Smith told her: “Cool. You’re seeing me now.”
With that, the two started dating in 1995, the same year as Smith’s split from Zampino. Pinkett moved from Baltimore to California to be with Smith.
When did they get married?
Smith and Pinkett were together for two years before they tied the knot. Smith officially popped the question in November of 1997.
Talking to People, Pinkett said: “One day we got engaged and the next day we found out we were pregnant.”
Pinkett wasn’t always so sure on the idea of marriage. She told People in 2019: “I never wanted to get married. But my mother was like, “You have to get married”, she’s so old school, and Will wanted a family.
“So I said, “All right, maybe it’s something I should”.”
Once the wedding planning was underway, the two married a month after Smith proposed, whilst Pinkett was pregnant with their first child.
Pinkett gave birth to their son Jaden on 8 July 1998 and then to their daughter Willow on 31 October 2000.
What have they said about affairs and open marriage rumours?
Throughout the course of their marriage, Pinkett and Smith have been subject to a number of rumours.
In 2011, Pinkett and Smith released a joint statement to People to address the rumours that Pinkett had been engaging in a relationship with Marc Anthony, which said: “Although we are reluctant to respond to these types of press reports, the rumours circulating about our relationship are completely false.
“We are still together, and our marriage is intact.”
Pinkett’s rep also added: “All rumours regarding Marc Anthony and Jada are false. Completely untrue. As for [divorce rumours about] Will and Jada, I’m not commenting on their personal life.”
In 2013, Pinkett took to Facebook to shut down rumours about whether she and Smith had an open relationship.
She wrote: “Here is how I will change my statement… Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so.
“This does NOT mean we have an open relationship… this means we have a GROWN one.”
A couple years later, in 2015, Smith also took to Facebook to deny split rumours. He wrote: “Under normal circumstances, I don’t usually respond to foolishness. (Because it’s contagious).
“But so many people have extended me their “deepest condolences” that I figured, “What the hell… I can be foolish too!” So, in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over & over-againness… Jada and I are… NOT GETTING A DIVORCE!!!!!!!
“I promise you all – if I ever decide to divorce my Queen – I SWEAR I’ll tell you myself!”
Pinkett backed up Will on Twitter by writing: “My king has spoken.”
In 2017, when appearing on Watch What Happens Live, Pinkett said that the craziest rumour she had heard about her relationship with Smith was that they were swingers.
She said: “That’s the craziest one. It’s constant. And I’m like, yo, I wish. I wish.”
What happened with August Alsina?
In an interview with Angela Yee, in 2020, while talking about his 2009 song Nunya, rapper August Alsina claimed that he had dated Pinkett while she was married to Smith in 2016, when he was 20 and she was 45.
Alsina also said that Smith had given them his “blessing”.
Alsina said that he had “sat down with Will and had a conversation due to the transformation from their marriage to life partnership” and that he had “devoted” himself fully to the relationship.
He said: “I devoted myself to it, I gave my full self to it – so much so to the point that I can die right now and be okay with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody.”
The same day that Alsina’s interview was released, reps for Pinkett immediately told publications that the rapper’s claims were “absolutely not true”.
A few days later, on 10 July 2020, Pinkett and Will sat together during a now infamous episode of Red Table Talk to discuss their relationship and what Alsina had said.
In the episode, Pinkett said that she did have a relationship with Alsina (although she famously referred to their relationship as an “entanglement”) and that she and Will had been separated at the time.
Will said: “We decided that we were going to separate for a period of time and you go figure out how to make yourself happy and I’ll figure out how to make myself happy.”
Pinkett added: “From there, as time went on, I got into a different kind of entanglement with August… Yes, it was a relationship, absolutely.”
While Pinkett confirmed that she had had a relationship with Alsina, she denied the claim that Smith had ever given them permission to pursue the relationship.
She said: “One thing I was to clean up… about you giving “permission”, which is… the only person that can give permission in that circumstance is myself.”
Two years on from the Red Table Talk interview, Smith told Gayle King on CBS Sunday Morning: “There’s never been infidelity in our marriage. Jada and I talk about everything, and we have never surprised one another with anything ever.”
In an interview with GQ last year, Smith talked about his relationship with Pinkett Smith and how, over the course of their 25 years together, they stopped being monogamous.
He said: “Jada never believed in conventional marriage… Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship.
“So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up. There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection? What is the perfect way to interact as a couple?
“And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection.
“We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way. And marriage for us can’t be a prison. And I don’t suggest our road for anybody.
“But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”
In the GQ cover story, interviewer and writer Wesley Lowery states: “Because the impetus for the Red Table Talk was Alsina’s disclosures, a viewer could have walked away thinking that Jada was the only one engaging in other sexual relationships, when that was not, Smith delicately explained to me, in fact the case.”
Did Jada Pinkett Smith date Tupac?
Many people believe that Pinkett dated the late rapper Tupac, but she has stated a number of times that the two were just friends.
In a 2017 interview with the Washington Post, she said: “I know that most people want to always connect it in this romance thing, but that’s just because they don’t have the story.”
She has however revealed that the two did kiss once in the past, saying: “There was a time when I was like, “Just kiss me! Let’s just see how this goes,” and when I tell you, it had to be the most disgusting kiss for us both.”
Smith admitted in the past to being jealous of Pinkett’s relationship with Tupac, stating in 2020: “You know, because we had a little bit of a thing. You know, they grew up together and they loved each other, but they never had a sexual relationship.”
Pinkett and Tupac met at Baltimore School for the Arts in Maryland, where the two became fast friends.
In June 2021, Pinkett Smith shared to her Instagram a video of an unpublished poem written by Tupac to mark what would have been his 50th birthday.
Did Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock ever date?
Pinkett and Rock, as well as Smith and Rock, have had a friendship that goes back many years, however there’s no evidence that says that Pinkett and Rock were ever in a relationship.
In 1995, Smith and Rock co-starred together on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and in 1999 they starred again together in Torrance Rises.
In 2005, it was Pinkett and Rock who were next to work together, both lending their voices for the animated kids film Madagascar, as well as its two sequels in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
Rock poked fun at Pinkett during his stint hosting the 2016 Oscars ceremony, when he brought up Pinkett’s decision to skip the event.
He said: “Jada said she’s not coming, protest. I was like, “Isn’t she on a TV show?” Jada’s going to boycott the Oscars?
“Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!”
Rock also joked about Smith as well, who was not nominated for an award that year.
He said: “It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West, okay?”
What happened at the Oscars?
Just moments before winning his first ever Oscar, for his performance in King Richard, Smith took to the stage to slap Chris Rock in the face.
Rock, who was presenting for the Best Original Documentary category of the awards show, referred to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, which she keeps that way due to alopecia, in which he said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2.”
In response to Rock’s comment, Pinkett could be seen rolling her eyes and Smith was also seen laughing, prior to taking the stage.
After Rock’s comment, Smith took to the stage and appeared to hit Rock before returning to his seat, shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth.”
While some versions of the ceremony have been bleeped, uncensored clips aired in Japan and Australia revealed that, after the slap, Rock said: “Oh wow, wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.”
Are they getting divorced?
Following the now infamous slap, rumours regarding the end of Smith and Pinkett’s marriage began to circulate online.
A source reportedly told Heat Magazine: “Ever since the Oscars scandal, the tension between them has been palpable. There has been problems for years, but they’re barely speaking right now.”
The source added: “If they were to split, Will has a fortune of $350 million that Jada would be entitled to under California law. It could be one of the ugliest divorces in showbiz history and drag on longer than Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s did.”
As it stands, neither Smith or Pinkett have made any announcements regarding the end of their relationship.