Jada Pinkett Smith reveals she and Will Smith have been 'separated for years'

Jada opened up about her and Will's relationship to TODAY's Hoda Kotb ahead of her memoir release

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith seperated
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jada Pinkett-Smith revealed that she and Will Smith have been separated since 2016 in a candid chat about their relationship ahead of the release of her new memoir. 

Jada Pinkett-Smith is coming forward with some information that looms quite large, especially since Will Smith's famed Oscars slap from two years ago - she and Will Smith have been separated since 2016. 

She revealed this information to Hoda Kotb of The TODAY Show while discussing other aspects of her upcoming memoir, Worthy, which is set to release on 17 October. The televised conversation between Hoda and Jada will air on 13 October on NBC, so you can catch all of the nuances of Jada's revelations. 

Jada told Hoda in their conversation that she and Will have been separated since 2016, nearly 20 years from their marriage in 1997. She said they have been living "completely separate lives," despite still being legally married. 

Will and Jada

(Image credit: Getty)

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Worthy by Jada Pinkett-Smith, Was £25 Now £12.50 | Amazon

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"It was not a divorce on paper," Hoda inquired to Jada, with Jada confirming. 

Why hadn't the couple shared that information yet, Hoda wondered - after all, following the 2022 Oscars slap (in which Will slapped Chris Rock for making a joke related to Jada's alopecia diagnosis), it would have appeared the two were still very much together.

Jada said it came down to them just "not being ready yet ... Still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership ... In regards to, how do we present that to people? We hadn't figured that out."

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith separated

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jada references a "fracture" in her relationship with Will in her memoir, prompting Hoda to asked what sparked the said fracture. 

"Why it fractured...that — that’s a lot of things. By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be," she admitted. 

Despite considering a legal divorce from Will, she explained that the couple has never been able to go through with it. "I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through ... whatever," she told Hoda. "I just haven’t been able to break that promise."

The couple also went through a "break-up" in 2015, when Jada got into a famed "entanglement" with R&B artist August Alsina while she was separated from Will. What we now know is that the two never reconnected. 

The couple shares two kids, 24-year-old son Jaden Smith and 21-year-old daughter Willow Smith, who helps Jada and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, discuss a wide range of topics on their podcast Red Table Talk. 

Madeline Merinuk
US Lifestyle News Writer

Madeline Merinuk is woman&home's US lifestyle news writer, covering celebrity, entertainment, fashion, and beauty news.

She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University, winning multiple student journalism awards, including a National Hearst Award, during her time there. After graduating, she worked at today.com, the digital site for the Today Show, where she wrote pop culture news and interviewed big-name personalities like Emily Ratajkowski, Haley Lu Richardson, Emma Corrin, and more.

Her personal interests, in no particular order, are: cheese, Joni Mitchell, reading, hot yoga, traveling, having multiple chapsticks in every handbag at all times, and dancing to ABBA songs as if she were in the Mamma Mia movies.