Revisiting Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith's Relationship Highs and Lows Amid Separation

In the wake of Jada Pinkett Smith's admission that she and Will Smith have been separated for seven years, take a look back at their decades-long marriage, which has faced an entanglement and more.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Oct 11, 2023 1:48 PMTags
Watch: Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals Marriage Separation Details

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith privately entered a new chapter of their relationship.

In new interviews released on Oct. 11, the Red Table Talk alum—who tied the knot with the Fresh Prince star in 1997—revealed that they've been separated for seven years. That includes the six years leading up to the 2022 Oscars, during which Will slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada's shaved head. 

"We're still figuring it out," Jada told People of her and Will's relationship status in an interview published Oct. 11. "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."

And in an interview with Today released the same day, she further detailed what led to he separation, explaining, "Why it fractured, that's a lot of things. I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be."

Since saying "I do" in the late ‘90s, Will and Jada—who share kids Jaden Smith, 25, and Willow Smith, 22—have faced a series of ups and downs, including Jada's past relationship with August Alsina, which she described in 2020 as an "entanglement."

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's Wildest Quotes About Each Other

And the pair experienced no brighter a spotlight than after the incident at the 2022 Oscars, which the 52-year-old told People she thought to be a scripted moment at first, sharing, "It wasn't until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn't a skit."

As for how Will—who is also dad to son Trey from his first marriage—is doing today, Jada suggested this is a journey he needs to embark on primarily alone. "I'm going to be by his side," she added, "but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself."

Lionel Hahn / Getty Images

And indeed, even after over 25 years by the other's side, Jada can still perfectly recall meeting her future husband. 

"Will called me up one day and said, 'Hit me when you get to L.A.' and then ... click. And I was like, 'Whoa. Okay,'" Jada told People. "And so when I got to L.A., I called him. I haven't been able to get rid of him since." 

To relive the couple's relationship from the very beginning, keep reading. 


Stunner in a blue outfit (dress?)! Will and Jada are all smiles at the Devil in a Blue Dress premiere in 1995.

White hot

Have you ever seen anything more '90s glam than this? The couple poses together in 1997, the year they got married.

Baby bump alert

Jada is styling more than just a trendy silver coat in this 1998 red carpet photo: she's showing off her baby bump in a sleek black dress. Jaden Smith was born on July 8, 1998.

Suited up

Hats off to the couple who never cease to show up on a red carpet in style. Here they are together at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California in 2005.

Here comes the bride

Jada ignored the old superstition of never wearing to black to a wedding as she and Will head to Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's 2006 wedding in Rome, Italy.

Family affair

The kids are here in London, England with Will and Jada on the red carpet at The Karate Kid premiere in 2010.

Say cheese

Orange you glad to see this picture of Will and Jada together? The happy couple smiles in New York City in 2010.

Oh Canada

Willow, Jaden, Will, and Jada Pinkett Smith pose together in a family shot at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.

Glam in green

Jada dazzles in green as she and Will arrive at the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2016.

Vacation mode

Everyone is all smiles for a family vacation after making a quick pit stop at the 2018 World Cup.

Soft smiles

Will posts an Instagram tribute to wife Jada, acknowledging that they've been together for "HALF OUR LIVES!"


In 2020, Will and Jada addressed Jada's alleged affair with August Alsina.

Admitting she and August had an "entanglement" while she and Will were separated, she explained, "It was a relationship. I was in a lot of pain and I was very broken. In the process of that relationship I definitely realized you can't find happiness outside of yourself. Luckily enough, you and I were also going through a process of healing in a much different manner."

2022 Oscars

During the 2022 Academy Awards, Will slapped host Chris Rock over a joke the comedian made about Jada's shaved head. 

After the slap, Will resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and was banned from its events for 10 years. He also apologized to Chris—calling the slap "unacceptable" and noting "there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment." 

Separation News

In Oct. 2023, Jada revealed she and Will have been separated for 7 years, including the six leading up to the 2022 Oscars.

"We're still figuring it out," Jada told People in a profile published Oct. 11. "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."


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