Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have had a rocky romance through the years.
The pair, who started dating in 1995 and have two children together, haven’t shied away from sharing their struggles with fans, from “entanglements” with outside lovers to secret separations, reports Page Six.
However, the duo often open up about their relationship wins as well.
While celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in 2017, Will compared love to gardening in a touching Instagram post.
“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,” the actor wrote to Jada. “I’ve learned to take pleasure in Nourishing YOUR dreams.”
Revisit the couple’s tumultuous ups and downs below.
Will and Jada met at a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air audition in 1994 while he was married to Sheree Zampino, with whom he shares son Trey Smith.
Although they “connected” at an event held by Tisha Campbell, Jada was “clear” with Red Table Talk listeners in 2018 that they “did not have an affair while he was married.”
Will chimed in to say he was actually interested in Jada before he met Zampino and tied the knot, as he saw her in As the World Turns and thought their “energy would be magic.”
Making it official
Later in the same episode, Will described reconnecting with Jada after Zampino divorced him in 1995.
When he spoke to the Nutty Professor star and found out that she wasn’t seeing anyone, he said, “Cool, you’re seeing me now.”
Laughing, Jada recalled, “My dumbass was like, ‘OK.’”
Putting a ring on it
In November 1997, Will proposed to Jada while they were in bed.
The actress had moved from Maryland to California by this point, and the pair was living together in Los Angeles.
“The next day,” the duo “found out [they] were pregnant,” Jada revealed to People in a 1998 interview.
Jada admitted on Red Table Talk in 2018 that she “upset” by having to walk down the aisle while three months pregnant with her first child after being “pressured” by her family.
Will, however, said, “There wasn’t a day in my life that I wanted anything other than being married and having a family.”
The couple wed in December 1997 in Maryland.
Jada became a mum in July 1998 when son Jaden Smith was born, followed by daughter Willow Smith in October 2000.
The little ones joined Trey, whom Jada has referred to as her “bonus” child on many occasions.
“It’s great when you can have a close relationship to a child that doesn’t necessarily see you as an immediate parent, but has trust in you,” she explained to Mercury News in 2014. “There’s a different kind of closeness. Trey is, like, my buddy.”
Open relationship rumours
In 2013, Jada clapped back at speculation that she and Will were in an open relationship, claiming they simply had a “relaxed” dynamic.
“I’ve always told Will: ‘You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be OK,’” she told HuffPost Live at the time.
“At the end of the day, Will is his own man.”
In a subsequent Facebook post, the Emmy winner added, “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.”
Slamming split speculation
Will issued his own clapback in 2015 when he told Facebook users in all caps that he was “not getting a divorce.”
The rapper 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.’”
He clarified that his response came “in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over & over-again-ness.”
By July 2018, Will and Jada didn’t refer to themselves as a “married” couple but instead as “life partners,” the I Am Legend star revealed on a Rap Radar podcast episode.
“You get into that space where you realise you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life,” he explained at the time. “There’s no deal breakers. There’s nothing she could do — ever.
“Nothing that would break our relationship,” Will continued. “She has my support till death and it feels so good to get to that space.”
Entering the entanglement
After August Alsina made headlines in June 2020 for alleging he had an affair with Jada years prior, she admitted to an “entanglement” during a 2015 separation from her husband.
Jada and Will addressed Alsina’s claims on Red Table Talk the following month, with the Tony nominee saying she had been going through “a difficult time” after being “kicked to the curb” by Will before meeting the singer.
She insisted that Alsina was not a “homewrecker” and their romance was not a “transgression,” clarifying that she hadn’t spoken to her ex since her reconciliation with Will.
Broken up before
In the candid conversation, the couple also admitted to splitting in 2011 after Will threw Jada a 40th birthday that she felt was a “ridiculous display of [his] ego.”
Will wrote about these marital struggles in his Will memoir, published in November 2021.
“Our marriage wasn’t working,” he recalled. “We could no longer pretend. We were both miserable and clearly something had to change.”
Peeling back the curtain
While promoting his memoir, Will admitted in a GQ interview that Jada was not the “only one engaging in other sexual relationships” and called their union an “unconventional” one.
“Marriage for us can’t be a prison,” the Golden Globe winner said. “The freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”
However, Will didn’t “suggest [their] road for anybody.”
Will stood up for his wife at the Oscars in March 2022 when Chris Rock poked fun at Jada’s bald head amid her alopecia struggles.
“Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth,” he declared, getting up from his seat to slap the comedian across the face in a viral moment he later apologised for.
Jada told People in October 2023 that she initially thought the smack was a “skit,” noting, “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’”
Jada revealed in the same People interview that she and Will were separated at the time of the slap — and had been since 2016.
“We’re still figuring it out,” she told the magazine while speaking about her Worthy memoir. “We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together. We just got deep love for each other, and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us.”
In a subsequent Today show interview, Jada explained to Hoda Kotb that she and Will “live separately” despite their willingness to “work through whatever” and “never … get a divorce.”
This article originally appeared in Page Six and was reproduced with permission