Jada Pinkett Smith reveals she and Will Smith have been separated since 2016 and “live separately”

In a preview of an upcoming NBC News primetime special with Hoda Kotb, Jada Pinkett Smith reveals that she and husband Will Smith separated in 2016 after the famed couple became “exhausted with trying” to save their marriage. Pinkett Smith is in the midst of doing press for her upcoming memoir, “Worthy,” in which she opens up about her split from Smith for the very first time.   

“Why it fractured? That’s a lot of things, and I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying,” Pinkett Smith tells Kotb. “I think we were both stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”

When asked why she kept the separation a secret from the public, Pinkett Smith says she and Smith were not “ready yet” and “still trying to figure out between the two of us, how to be in partnership.”

“How do we present that to people?” Pinkett Smith continues. “We hadn’t figured that out.” She admits that in one instance, she did consider a legal divorce but was unable to finalize it: “I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through whatever. I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”

Pinkett Smith and Smith’s marriage has come under scrutiny in recent years. In 2020, Pinkett Smith claimed in an episode of her show, “Red Table Talk,” that she and recording artist August Alsina had an “entanglement.” And in 2022, during the Academy Awards, Smith infamously slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage after the latter joked about Pinkett Smith’s alopecia.

Watch the full clip below, via YouTube: