Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have faced the brunt of tons of ridiculous speculation about their relationship (see: August Alsina casually revealing that he dated Jada while she was married). But while that was all extremely !!!!, it isn’t the first time Will and Jada have dealt with the internet flipping TF out about their marriage. They’ve been shutting down rumors for literally decades—from claims they’re in an open relationship and speculation they’re swingers to totally false whispers that Jada cheated on Will with Marc Anthony. But as usual, the truth is waaay more complicated than a bunch of online drama. Time to break down the rumors with a handy (and mildly thirsty) timeline—starting with how Will and Jada met and fell in love.
Will met Jada on the set of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but he was married to Sheree Zampino at the time. Once he and Sheree split, Will straight-up called Jada and asked if she was seeing anybody. When she said no, he replied, “Cool. You’re seeing me now.” The rest is history!
New Year’s Eve 1997
Jada and Will got married while she was pregnant with their son, Jaden—although initially, Jada didn’t love the idea of making their relationship “official” on paper. Here’s what she told People in a 2019 cover story:
“I never wanted to get married. But my mother was like, ‘You have to get married’—she’s so old-school—and Will wanted a family. So I said, ‘Alright, maybe it’s something I should do.’”
August 23, 2011
Amid rumors that Jada was hooking up with Marc Anthony, the couple released a statement to People. BEHOLD:
“Although we are reluctant to respond to these types of press reports, the rumors circulating about our relationship are completely false. We are still together, and our marriage is intact.”
Meanwhile, Jada’s rep said, “All the rumors regarding Marc Anthony and Jada are false. Completely untrue. As for [the reports of a split between] Will and Jada, I’m not commenting on their personal life.”
August 14, 2013
Otherwise known as the fated day Jada hopped on Facebook to clarify comments that had everyone thinking she and Will were in an open marriage (basically, she said Will could “do whatever he wants”):
“Here is how I will change my statement...Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship...this means we have a GROWN one.”
June 3, 2015
Jada gave an interview with Howard Stern, saying, “I’m not the kind of woman that believes that a man’s not gonna be attracted to other women. It’s just not realistic. And just because your man is attracted to another woman doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. And it doesn’t mean he’s gonna act on it.”
August 3, 2015
Amid yet another round of rumors that Will and Jada were splitting, Will hit Facebook and denied that they were getting a divorce:
“Under normal circumstances, I don’t usually respond to foolishness. (Because it’s contagious). But so many people have extended me their ‘deepest condolences’ that I figured —‘What the hell...I can be foolish too!’ So, in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over & over-again-ness...Jada and I are...NOT GETTING A DIVORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! : -) I promise you all —if I ever decide to divorce my Queen—I SWEAR I’ll tell you myself! #Dumb People Should Have to Wear Scarlet D’s.”
Meanwhile, Jada hit up Twitter with this:
My king has spoken.
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) August 3, 2015
Is now a good time to mention that 2015 was also the year Jada was introduced to August Alsina? Just casually saying!
June 25, 2017
Jada and August attended the 2017 BET Awards together.
July 21, 2017
Jada showed up on Watch What Happens Live and said the wildest rumor she’s ever heard about her family is that she and Will are swingers: “That’s the craziest one. It’s constant. And I’m like, yo, I wish. I wish.”
June 30, 2020
During an interview with Angela Yee, August claimed that he and Jada dated while she was married and that her marriage was open at the time.
“I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation due to the transformation from their marriage to life partnership that they’ve spoken on several times and it not involving romanticism,” he said, adding that he “totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life and I truly and really, really deeply loved and have a ton of love for her.”
Oh, and August also claimed Will gave them his “blessing.”
Later! That! Day!
Less than 24 hours after August’s interview dropped, Page Six got in touch with Jada’s reps, who said his claims were “absolutely not true.”
July 10, 2020
Jada (sitting across from Will) opened up about the sitch with August during an episode of the always iconic Red Table Talk, confirming that she did have a relationship with him—and that she and Will were separated at the time.
“We decided that we were going to separate for a period of time and you go figure out how to make yourself happy and I’ll figure out how to make myself happy,” Will said, while Jada added, “From there, as time went on, I got into a different kind of entanglement with August.…Yes, it was a relationship, absolutely.”
That said, Jada denied that Will ever gave permission to August, saying, “One thing I want to clean up…about you giving ‘permission,’ which is...the only person that can give permission in that circumstance is myself.”
If you’re wondering how August felt about Red Table Talk, apparently the answer is not great because he seemingly subtweeted Jada, saying, “If you have something to say, say it w/ ya CHEST, kids. It’s always very perplexing ’cause I real deal be showing people genuine love. Whole time that envy eating ya lil heart. Anyway, NEXT!!”
If you have something to say, say it w/ ya CHEST kids.
It’s always very perplexing cause I real deal be showing people genuine love. Whole time that envy eating ya lil heart.
— August Alsina (@AugustAlsina) July 10, 2020
July 13, 2020
Believe it or not, but the Smith fam is all good following the Red Table Talk drama. Well, at least that’s what Us Weekly is saying.
“The Smiths as a family are really glad they addressed this and put everything out in the open,” their source says. “Will and Jada, at the end of the day, are like a normal couple who just happen to be glorified because they’re famous. They have fought. They have reconciled. At the end of the day, they do love each other.” Cool-cool-cool.
Will and Jada also think everyone is blowing this whole thing “out of proportion,” with the source adding, “At the end of the day, what hasn’t changed is the love that Will and Jada have for each other and the deep love that their children have for them.…They are an extremely close family, famous or not.”
So, where does that leave Will and Jada? Considering that he told his wife, “I could love you through anything,” it looks like there’s no drama to see here!
October 27, 2021
Jada revealed during an episode of Red Table Talk that it takes work to maintain a spark in the bedroom.
“It’s hard.…The thing Will and I talk about a lot is the journey. We started in this at a very young age, 22 years old.…I think you expect your partner to know—especially when it comes to sex. It’s like, ‘Well, if you love me, you should know. If you love me, you should read my mind.’ That’s a huge pitfall,” Jada said.
She added that she still occasionally feels “uncomfortable” expressing her desires but maintains that it is “deeply healthy.…It’s something that we don’t talk about a lot and there’s so much fantasy around it.”
November 9, 2021
Will’s eponymous memoir comes out, and the actor doesn’t hold back on the entire arc of his relationship with Jada, starting at the very beginning. The pair initially met on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which Jada unsuccessfully auditioned for. But it wasn’t until later that the two connected on a much deeper level and became practically inseparable.
The book reads, “My divorce from Sheree wasn’t yet final, so Jada and I decided it would be prudent if we kept our relationship under wraps. (We were both pretty famous, and we felt it just wouldn’t have been a great look. The blessed yet unintended consequence was that we spent every single moment together, just us. The first three or four months were as wild a romantic whirlwind as our bodies could have possibly handled.…We fit together so naturally, and our energies combined exponentially in a way that felt like old friends more than new lovers. We had an unspoken language, and everything we focused on flourished.” *swoon*
However, after a number of years, the couple began to run into issues. In his novel, Will described it as “suffering the brutal death of our romantic fantasies, the burning away of the idealistic illusion of the perfect marriage and the perfect family. Neither of us wanted a divorce; we knew we loved each other, and some aspects of our union were magical. But the structure of the life that we had established was strangling both of us.”
Eventually, the two were able to compromise and reconcile after embracing what Will called “the power of loving in freedom,” which allowed them to be “simultaneously 100 percent bound together and 100 percent free.”
November 10, 2021
Oprah interviewed the Men in Black star about his relationship with Jada and questioned him about specific excerpts in his memoir, including his use of the phrase “loving freedom.”
The actor responded, “You love in freedom with everybody except your partner.” He then explained how people tend to lend more space in friendships or relationships with their children than they do in a conventional marriage. However, Will said, “I think the difficulty that people have and difficulty in discussing it is people only think in terms of sex.”
He added, “People are trying to put something on it: ‘Will and Jada—what they doing with other people?’ Will and Jada ain’t really doing too much of nothin’. Will and Jada are on a spiritual journey to cleanse the poisonous, unloving parts of our hearts. And we’re doing it together in this lifetime no matter what.”
The actor noted that their relationship is better than ever now.
“Me and Jada, to this day, if we start talking, it’s four hours. It’s four hours if we exchange a sentence. It’s the center of why we’ve been able to sustain [our relationship] and why we are still together, not choking the life out of each other—the ability to work through issues. I’ve never met another person that I connect with in conversation more blissfully and productively than Jada.”
February 27, 2022
At the 2022 SAG Awards, E! red carpet host Laverne Cox took a moment to speak with the couple and mentioned that she was thankful “for all the years of joy you’ve brought us. We can’t wait for more Red Table Talk and more ‘entanglements,’” to which Jada laughed and responded, “No more of those!”
— 2Cool2Blog (@2cooI2blog) February 28, 2022
March 13, 2022
Will Smith was interviewed by Gayle King on CBS Sunday Morning and shut down speculation that he and Jada ever accused each other of cheating in the past. “Never. There’s never been infidelity in our marriage.…And we have never surprised one another with anything ever.…I have decided that chatter about my life can be of a benefit to people. I think that chatter is the first stage to having a real conversation and being able to truly explore if some of the things in your heart are loving or poisonous.”
Welp, that certainly clears things up!
March 27, 2022
At the 2022 Oscars, Will and Jada stunned on the red carpet, but things took a v awkward turn for the couple later that night. After presenter Chris Rock made a joke about Jada (who has spoken openly about having a hair loss condition) looking like the star of G.I. Jane 2, Will made it clear he didn’t appreciate the crack. He took to the stage to smack Chris and told him to “keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth,” which was censored on TV. From the silence of the audience and the look on Chris’s face, it def seems like the reaction was 100 percent unscripted.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 28, 2022
April 4, 2022
Things took a turn when it was revealed by sources that Jada wished Will hadn’t slapped Chris at the Oscars. “It was in the heat of the moment, and it was him overreacting. He knows that, she knows that. They’re in agreement that he overreacted,” a source told Us Weekly. The source continued, saying Jada is “not one of these women that needs protecting. He didn’t need to do what he did, she didn’t need protecting. She’s not a wallflower. She’s a strong woman, an opinionated woman, and she can fight her own battles. But she will stand by him.”
News of this came after Will issued a public apology not only to the Academy but also to Chris himself. The statement in full is as follows:
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees, and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams family and my King Richard family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.
“I am a work in progress.
April 5, 2022
An insider revealed that despite the stress of the Oscars moment, Will and Jada “stick together through thick and thin” because “they have been through a lot together and this is just another battle for them.” Well…that settles that, until…that! very! same! day! singer August Alsina (yes, THAT August Alsina) dropped a new song alluding to his “entanglement” with Jada. *takes deep breaths*
The lyrics that everyone’s zeroing in on go a little something like this: “Well, of course some sh*t is bound to go down when there’s a billion dollars on the elevator / Well, of course some sh*t is bound to go down when you tangled up with the world’s favorite.” I mean…you don’t have to look that into it.
A refresher: This isn’t the first time August has been public about his relationship with Jada in a song. Last July, he released one called…you guessed it…“Entanglement.”
While we’re at it, August also had this to say post-Oscars:
The caption included: “Choose peace…I’m a Walking Billboard & Network Simply Desiring to Televise & Broadcast Love, the love, grace, and healing embrace of God, Good Music that’s healing (w/ a lil bit of nasty).” Oop!
August 13, 2022
Months after Slap-gate, Will and Jada were spotted out together at none other than celeb hotspot Nobu Malibu. In the pics, which were captured by TMZ, Will could be seen leading the way out of the restaurant, while Jada followed while holding him. And if the duo's general vibe is any indication of where they’re at, all signs point to a significantly better since before getting into their car, Will actually flashed a peace sign to a spectator who called his name.
The sighting is also on the heels of Will’s apology video, wherein the actor clarifies that (1) He still hasn’t heard from Chris and (2) He needs ultimately to move on with his life. Noted!!
Stay tuned for more updates that are sure to come from Will and Jada—we know you’re thirsty for them too.
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