At long last, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have brought themselves to the Red Table. Earlier this month singer August Alsina told radio personality Angela Yee during an interview that he and Pinkett Smith had a relationship with Will’s “blessing.” On Friday, the couple said that while the two did have a relationship, it was not an affair—and Pinkett Smith never needed her husband’s blessing.
“I felt like it was really important to come to the table and clear the air,” Pinkett Smith said on her Facebook Watch show. Added Smith, “We were purposely not saying anything… We specifically never said anything. So coming to the table was like, we just felt like it got to the point where you gotta say something.”
During the 12-minute sit-down, Smith took his wife’s usual position on the program, interviewing her about the relationship she had with Alsina, which they agreed occurred roughly four years ago. The two said they’d befriended Alsina, who “just needed some help” with his mental health.
But eventually, the couple went through a rough patch. As Pinkett Smith put it, “We broke up.”
“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,” Smith said.
It was at that point, Pinkett Smith said, that she “got into a different kind of entanglement with August.”
But that said, she wanted to make one thing clear: Smith never gave his permission for the relationship, because it was not his to give: “The only person that can give permission in that particular circumstance is myself,” she said. “But what August was probably trying to communicate—because I could actually see how he would perceive it as permission, because we were separated amicably. And I think he also wanted to make it clear that he’s not a home-wrecker. Which he’s not.”
At the time of her and Alsina’s relationship, Pinkett Smith continued, “I was very broken. Now in the process of that relationship, I definitely realized that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself. And luckily enough, you and I were also going through a process of healing in a much different manner.”
As for why her relationship with Alsina started, Pinkett Smith added, “I just wanted to feel good. It had been so long since I felt good. And it was really a joy to just help heal somebody. I think that has a lot to do with my codependency. Which is another thing that I had to learn to break in this cycle… There’s something about that childhood trauma that feels as though it can be fixed through fixing people. Versus fixing me.”
“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.”
— Jada Pinkett Smith
As the two talked about the relationship, they kept the tone light, teasing one another at times.
“I think it could be weird for people that we’re laughing and talking about it,” Smith said, “But—”
“It happened so long ago,” Pinkett Smith said.
“And our experiences of working through it, fighting through it, talking through it, and therapizing through it,” Smith said.
At another point, Smith joked, “I’ma get you back [for the relationship].”
“You gon’ get me back? I think you got me back,” Pinkett Smith replied. “I think we’re good on that, okay?”
To which Smith admitted, “Okay, that’s probably true.”
Both Pinkett Smith and Smith said it was jarring to see Alsina share the story now, and that they haven’t been in communication with him for some time. Still, Pinkett Smith said, “I’m grateful for the journey that you and I have had together.”
Still, the two didn’t gloss over how rough that period in their marriage was, either. At one point, Smith said, “I wasn’t sure I was ever gonna speak to you again. The fact that I’m speaking to you again is a miracle.” Pinkett Smith replied, “I would agree.”
“But it ain’t for the weak of heart,” Smith said. “There’s just certain things that you have to go through.”
Toward the end, the two bumped fists and laughed as they said, “We ride together; we die together; bad marriage for life.”