On Monday’s episode of “On Purpose with Jay Shetty” podcast, Pinkett Smith stated that she actually planned to address her separation from Smith on her show “Red Table Talk” in 2020 when her “entanglement” with singer August Alsina made headlines.
The host admitted that she and Smith had been leading ‘single’ lives for a few years at the time, but the “Men in Black” star “wasn’t ready to go public with the news about the couple’s marriage.
“I was going to go to the ‘Red Table’ by myself to talk about the entanglement, but Will decided he wanted to come with me,” she explained. “We were going to then tell the world, ‘Hey, we haven’t been together, and this happened during that time.’”
She went on to note: “Well, when we got to the table, Will wasn’t ready. He wasn’t ready for the world to know that. I had to respect that — well, I didn’t have to, but I wanted to. But I was ready. I was ready to let go of the persona I had created around myself that had put me in a golden cage.”
Pinkett Smith broke the news of the 2016 separation on an interview with the Today Show last week in advance of her upcoming memoir “Worthy.”
“By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying,” she explained to “Today” host Hoda Kotb. “I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”
The star noted that she and Smith “live separately” and clarified they are not legally divorced. The two actors have been married since 1997 and share a 25-year-old son, Jaden, and a 22-year-old daughter, Willow.
Two years before the infamous Oscar slap incident with Chris Rock, Pinkett Smith admitted she had pursued a relationship with Alsina in what was a brief separation from Smith, promoting reports that the couple had an “open marriage”
In her chat with Shetty, Pinkett Smith said she had to “dissolve my romanticism” early in her relationship with Smith, which began in the midst of Smith’s 1995 divorce from his first wife, Sheree Zampino.
“Our relationship started with some challenges, you know, because he was divorcing,” she recalled. “And then our life just took off, like a rocket ship. We just took on this huge life in our early 20s where his focus was really about, ‘Hey, I want to be the biggest movie star in the world,’ and I knew that going into our relationship, and I knew there would be sacrifices with that.”