(CTN NEWS) – Jada Pinkett Smith whispers to herself, “Here we go.”
In the quiet Los Angeles photo studio, Jada is preparing to share her life story. It’s a remarkable journey that has taken her from the streets of Baltimore, where she once sold drugs, to the pinnacle of Hollywood.
Jada found herself at the peak of the film industry, sitting in the front row at the 2022 Academy Awards. It was during this live television broadcast that she witnessed her husband, Will Smith, slap Chris Rock on the Oscar stage. This incident occurred after Rock made a joke about Jada’s shaved head, a result of her living with alopecia.
The silence in the photo studio signifies the anticipation surrounding Jada Pinkett Smith’s response. She understands that people have been waiting for her to speak out about the incident for 18 months. Now, she is ready to share her perspective.
Jada Pinkett Smith initially thought the incident at the Academy Awards was part of a skit, just like many others who watched it live. She couldn’t believe it was real and didn’t think that Will Smith had actually slapped Chris Rock. It was only when Will returned to his seat that she realized it wasn’t staged. Her immediate concern was for Will’s well-being, and she asked him if he was okay once they were alone after the show.
Will Smith’s response to the Oscar incident is a work in progress. Jada Pinkett Smith has shared her perspective on various topics, such as her challenging childhood and their complex marriage, in her forthcoming book “Worthy,” which will be released on October 17. She plans to stand by her 55-year-old husband but also acknowledges that he needs to navigate and come to terms with the situation himself.
Before the events of March 27, 2022, Jada Pinkett Smith had lived a multifaceted life, as she elaborates in her book. It’s almost as if she had experienced many different lives concurrently.
Despite growing up in a challenging environment with parents who had substance abuse problems, Jada Pinkett Smith managed to overcome her difficult Baltimore childhood. Her talent as a performer shone brightly, and she attended the North Carolina School for the Arts for a year, which paved the way for her journey to Hollywood. She made her mark with roles in both TV (such as “A Different World”) and movies, including “Set It Off,” “Menace II Society,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Collateral,” and “The Matrix.”
During her journey, she crossed paths with a promising young actor named Will Smith. Their meetings were casual at first, but after Will’s divorce from his first wife, Sheree Zampino, he took the initiative and called Jada. He inquired about her relationship status, and when she mentioned she was single, Will confidently stated, “Well, you’re going out with me now.”
Reflecting on that moment, Jada laughs and admits, “Can you believe I fell for that?”
Jada Pinkett Smith‘s life has been a rollercoaster ride, marked by significant highs such as touring with her band Wicked Wisdom, the joys of motherhood with her two children and her “bonus son” Trey from Will’s first marriage, and the creation of the talk show Red Table Talk. However, her journey has also been marred by profound lows and even lower lows. Despite the challenges, she believes that it was during these difficult times that she began to find clarity and understanding.
Jada Pinkett Smith is well aware of how her life may have appeared from the outside, especially about a decade ago. The glamour, the smiles, the luxurious mansion, the elegant gowns, and the star-studded movie premieres. It seemed like they had it all. But beneath the surface of this seemingly perfect life, there was a different reality. Jada confesses, “While I was seemingly living the dream, I hit a massive wall – a profound depression. I believe I sought external sources to fill the voids I was experiencing inside.”
Jada recalled a turning point in her life when friends of her son, Jaden, mentioned their father had undergone an ayahuasca ceremony. In such ceremonies, a guide administers a plant-based psychedelic substance, typically brewed into a tea, which induces hallucinatory experiences. This conversation sparked her interest and provided a glimmer of hope.
Jada shared that ayahuasca had a profound impact on her life. It provided her with a new and intimate connection with herself that she had never experienced before. Most significantly, since her first experience with the drug, the suicidal thoughts that had once plagued her completely disappeared.
Jada mentioned that her husband and children, as adults, have also experienced ayahuasca. She acknowledges the fascination surrounding her family life, especially her marriage. She reflected on the early days of her relationship with her husband.
Jada shared a humorous anecdote about how her relationship with Will began. She recounted how Will asked her to call him when she arrived in Los Angeles, and from that moment, she hasn’t been able to “get rid of him.”
After getting together with Will, Jada felt so enamored by him and their relationship that she stopped focusing on her mental health. She had been receiving treatment for depression, suicidal thoughts, and was taking medication, but once they were together, she believed she was “cured” and abandoned her mental health treatment, including stopping her medication. Will became the center of her world.
Jada and Will’s marriage, which took place in a low-key ceremony in Baltimore on New Year’s Eve in 1997, while she was pregnant with Jaden, has always been a subject of intense fascination for fans. Their union immediately elevated them to the status of Hollywood royalty, which in turn brought them a lot of gossip and speculation.
“We’re still figuring it out,” Jada says about the state of their marriage. She reveals that they had been separated for six years before the Oscars in 2022. “We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together. We just have deep love for each other, and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us.”
Regarding her children, she says, “My children, they’re little gurus. They’ve taught me a deep sense of self-acceptance.”
“They love every part of me,” she says of Jaden, 25, Willow, 22, and Trey, 30. “The level of love, unconditional love that they have for me and their dad. And it’s one thing to want to be the person that gives that unconditional love. And then there’s, to be the recipient of that.”
Jada remembers the moment Jaden saved her life. “I’ve learned how to tune into each one of them and understand their superpowers. And so when Jaden came to me that day and he’s like, ‘Mom, you got to hear this. My friend’s dad, he had this experience. I need you to come in here and listen.’ I’m like, ‘I’m there. What is it?’ And it opened up a whole new world of healing that I’m so grateful for.”
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