Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals Her and Will Split in 2016, But Won’t Divorce


Jada Pinkett Smith has officially confirmed that she and her husband, Will Smith, have been living separately for approximately seven years, despite not having legally divorced. This revelation was made during an NBC News interview, in which Pinkett Smith shared details of their relationship dynamics. The interview is part of her promotional efforts for her upcoming memoir, “Worthy,” scheduled for release on October 17.

In this interview, conducted by Hoda Kotb in Baltimore, Pinkett Smith disclosed that she and Will Smith decided to lead separate lives in 2016, marking a significant turning point in their relationship. She discussed the complex reasons behind their separation, citing exhaustion from trying to maintain an idealised image of each other. This admission shines a light on the struggles faced by one of Hollywood’s most enduring celebrity couples.

​​Pinkett Smith said the couple broke up in 2016, and she began an “entanglement” with the singer August Alsina. “You and I were going through a very difficult time,” said Pinkett Smith – “I was done with you,” Will Smith responded, “I really felt like we could be over.”

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, who have been married for nearly 26 years, have faced persistent speculation about the state of their marriage. Their relationship has been subject to public scrutiny, but they have also been open about their challenges, such as addressing rumours of an open relationship in 2013 and discussing their personal struggles on Jada’s talk show, Red Table Talk, in a widely viewed 2020 episode.

The couple’s separation, which is now confirmed to have been in place since 2016, has raised questions about the true nature of their partnership, especially given their recent high-profile moments, including an incident at the 2022 Academy Awards when Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage. 

Despite their separation, Jada Pinkett Smith reaffirmed her commitment to their marriage, emphasising that she made a promise never to allow a reason for divorce to emerge and that they will work through their challenges together. The couple has chosen not to officially divorce, as they continue to navigate the evolution of their relationship.