The first season of Red Table Talk was a tough act to follow, but Jada's squad just upped the ante with the release of their latest episode, which for the first time features her husband of 20 years, Will Smith, and promises to answer every question we've ever had about their previously private marriage life.
Will and Jada were joined by her two co-hosts, her mom, Adrienne, and daughter, Willow, and discussed how the two ultimately became "Mr. and Mrs. Smith". The couple dropped a ton of bombs during the discussion, including but not limited to how they met. She even revealed that she once went on a date with his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star, Alfonso Ribeiro.
Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Willow SmithStan Evans/Red Table Talk
Will revealed that he was captivated by Jada after seeing her on A Different World and subsequently went on set to meet her. Upon his arrival, another beautiful woman caught his eye and would one day become his wife and the mother of his oldest son, Trey.
"The dude that was gone introduce me to Jada was with another girl and I was like who is that? And it was Sheree. I went to 'A Different World' to meet Jada and met Sheree and ended up marrying Sheree and having Trey."
It wasn't until years later when Jada and Will reconnected by way of a mutual friend that they would ever have a real one-on-one conversation, but at this point, Will was already married and did not believe in divorce. The night after he and Jada spoke, Will shared that he found himself crying in a bathroom stall because he knew that he had met the woman he was supposed to be with. Still, he remained faithful until Sheree until she filed for divorce.
"She hit me hard. Sheree filed for divorce on Valentine's Day. I was like ouch. And I still told her, no. You can't have a divorce. And she hit me with the, 'So you're gonna make somebody stay with you who doesn't love you?' And I was like nope, I'm not, I'm actually not. And I was like that was the one that got me. And I remember I was like, I'm going to sign the divorce papers."
That day, he walked to his car and called Jada, who had just bought a house in Baltimore, to come to L.A. for them to be together and she never spent a night in her new house. When she agreed, things moved quickly and they spent most of their time together. After two years of dating, Jada found out that she was pregnant.
Although the actress says that her children are her biggest blessings, at the time, those blessings were definitely disguised. In the episode, the couple said that the young mother knew she was pregnant almost immediately after conception and cried the entire night.
Jada revealed that when her mother found out that she was pregnant, marriage was mandatory and this was a concept that she fought until the end.
"I was like my life is never going to be the same. I was like what am I gonna do now? I really didn't want to get married... It was almost as if, Gammy was like you had to get married. Like, we have to talk about the wedding. I was under so much pressure being a young actress. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I just knew I never wanted to be married."
"I didn't want a wedding either. I just wanted it to be the two of us on a mountain like this is serious business."
On her wedding day, Jada was three months pregnant and sick to her stomach, both figuratively and literally. She even recalled walking down the aisle sobbing.
"I just never really agreed with the construct. I never have, I still don't. 'Til' death do us part is real for me', it's just all of the rules and all of the ideas. The accepted conventional definition of 'wife' in the paradigm, I'm not that."
Even today, Jada says that marriage is a social construct that she doesn't believe in but thinks that her mother made the right call and their 20-year marriage is nothing short of a miracle.
For anyone wondering how to build a relationship with longevity, Jada and Will say that the key is in communication. Early on in their relationship, they established that they would not raise their voices or use profanity in their communication with one another. Instead, they choose to walk away until they can respond with love. Will shared:
"I said Jada, this is the deal. I grew up in a household where I watched my father punch my mother in the face and I will not create a house, a space, an interaction with a person where there is profanity and violence. If you have to talk to me like that we won't be together. We're not gonna use any profanity in our interactions, we're not gonna raise our voice, we're not going to be violent. Because I can't do it."
"We never raised our voices, we took communication courses, all of that."
They explained that all things worth having are worth working for, and their miracle didn't come without healing some emotional wounds. This means being able to walk away when you're angry. The 47-year-old actress said:
"You really have to discipline yourself. For me, I had to discipline myself. And really handle that within myself and see, okay what are you angry about? And then come to peace and then go and talk to Will when I can actually have a commune conversation. Because really you're not communicating when you're talking to each other in anger. What I realize is like, you're beating up on someone you say you love, right? Versus, handle that with yourself. There have been plenty of times I've had to say, 'I can't deal with this right now'. Go through your thoughts, go cry, go curse, go kick a tree."
Jada and Will have been our #RelationshipGoals for nearly two decades, but they shared that grass is always greener, and celebrities aren't immune to marital issues.
Jada recalled one instance where she cried for 45 days straight, and Will didn't know or care to help. He shared that he even built her a house to feel better at one point, but later learned that he had only been building it for himself. Will said that although they were winning on the outside, they were losing as a family.
"As a couple, we are magical. We win in the material world. When we do it together, we win. 'The Karate Kid', 'Whip My Hair', 'Hawthorne', and the Nobel Peace Prize. Our family did that within a 6 month period."
"The only interview that Barack Obama did after winning the Nobel Peace Prize was me and [Jada]. Externally our family was winning. There was a period where [Jada] woke up and cried 45 days straight. It was every morning. I think that's the worst I've ever felt in our marriage. I was failing miserably, but on the outside, I was winning."
Despite their unique moments of crisis, it has been their common beliefs and intentions that have kept them together and are the reasons they will never divorce. One of the most important shared ideas they have is building and maintaining a successful family.
"Until this day, no matter what, family."
Check out the other secrets revealed during this week's Red Table Talk below!