Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, seen at last month’s 94th Annual Academy Awards, have endured a number of rocky spots in their marriage. (Mike Coppola / Getty Images)
By Elizabeth Stauffer April 9, 2022 at 12:23pm
“I really didn’t wanna get married,” Jada Pinkett Smith admitted during an October 2018 episode of her “Red Table Talk” Facebook series.
Pinkett Smith, was joined at the round red table by her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, whom she calls “Gammy,” her husband, Will Smith, and their daughter, Willow, 21.
The description of the episode, entitled “Becoming Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Part 1),” reads: “Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith reveal the truth behind their relationship, from the day they met to the moments of crisis in their 20-plus year marriage.” It can be viewed on Facebook.
Pinkett Smith, who was pregnant at the time with their son Jaden, now 23, said, “I was under so much pressure, you know, being a young actress, being young, and I was just, like, pregnant and I just didn’t know what to do. … I never wanted to be married.”
“We only got married because Gammy was crying.”
“It was almost as if Gammy was like, ‘You have to get married, so let’s talk about the wedding,’” she said.
“I remember feeling very strongly and wanting you guys to be married,” Banfield-Norris said. “But I don’t remember your rejection of the idea of marriage. I remember the rejection of the idea of a wedding but not of a marriage.”
Pinkett Smith explained, “And now Gammy done gone to Will, crying about ‘I don’t want a wedding,’ and now I’m being forced to have a wedding. When really I just wanted it to be the two of us on a mountain because I was like: ‘This is serious business.’”
“And I was so upset that I had to have a wedding. I was so pissed I went crying down the freaking aisle. I cried the whole way down the aisle,” she added.
Do you think the Smiths will remain married?
Unlike Pinkett Smith, her husband was delighted on their wedding day. He told the group, “There wasn’t a day in my life that I wanted anything other than being married and having a family. From literally 5 years old, I was picturing what my family would be.”
He’d been smitten from the moment he met Jada, but he was married. The two did not have an affair.
Smith said he was out to dinner with his then-wife and he was suddenly struck with the realization that he was with the wrong person. He went into the men’s room and cried. After collecting himself, he carried on, convinced that divorce was not an option. He tried to put Jada out of his mind, he said.
As fate would have it, Smith’s wife served him with divorce papers — on Valentine’s Day.
He and Jada married on New Year’s Eve in 1997 at the “Gothic-style Cloisters Castle in a suburb of her hometown, Baltimore, Maryland,” according to The New York Post.
Banfield-Norris admits “The wedding was horrible. It was a mess.” And she blames it on her daughter. “Jada was sick, she was very unpleasant … She didn’t cooperate with anything.”
Few people will be surprised by this story. The dynamics that existed on their wedding day — his happiness, her horror — appear not to have changed much over the years. From the perspective of a casual observer, it seems as though Smith has been willing to put up with a lot over the years to keep the marriage alive. Although he goes along with the idea of an open marriage, I imagine he would prefer marital monogamy. Pinkett Smith, on the other hand, appears to be almost ambivalent.
She holds the power in the relationship and we saw this play out on the national stage two weeks ago.
Smith was laughing at Chris Rock’s joke until his eyes suddenly met the gaze of his angry wife. Immediately a switch was flipped and Smith snapped into action.
Readers, please place your bets on how much longer this marriage will last in the comment section below!
PS: I promise this will be my last post about Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.