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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Isabelle Aron

The key revelations from Jada Pinkett Smith’s memoir — so far

Jada Pinkett Smith has published a tell-all memoir in which she writes about her relationship with Will Smith, the Oscars slap and her mental health struggles.

Published later this month, Pinkett Smith’s memoir, Worthy, promises to be “gripping” and “painfully honest”.

One of the most surprising revelations is that Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith have been living separate lives since 2016. Addressing the Oscars slap incident in 2022, when presenter Chris Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith having alopecia causing Smith to storm on stage and slap him, Pinkett Smith says she was surprised that Smith was so upset.

Jada Pinkett Smith (AFP via Getty Images)

In an extract shared with People, she writes: “We had been living separate lives and were there as family, not as husband and wife. But when I hear Will yell ‘wife’ in the chaos of the moment, an internal shift of Oh s--- . . . I am his wife! happens instantly.”

The actor has spoken about this revelation on NBC. The interview airs later this week but in the trailer, Pinkett Smith confirmed that they have been living separately since 2016. When asked why, she said: “I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying,” she added. “I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”

An insider has claimed that Chris Rock was unaware that Jada Pinkett Smith suffered from hair loss when he made a bald joke about her (AFP via Getty Images)

While the pair are separated, they are still legally married. Pinkett Smith said they had considered getting a legal divorce but that she could not go through with it. “I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through whatever. And I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”

In the book, Pinkett Smith addresses the slap incident in a chapter titled “The Holy Joke, the Holy Slap, and Holy Lessons”. The actor said that she thought it was a skit at first.

She writes: “It’s not until Will yells from his seat back up at Chris to “keep my wife’s name out your f---in’ mouth,” and then repeats it, that I perceive the gravity of the situation, and that, no, it had not been a skit.”

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith (AFP via Getty Images)

Pinkett Smith says that what upset her wasn’t the joke at her expense but how people who suffer from the condition might feel if they were watching. She said her heart broke for “the many who live in shame, the children who have committed suicide after being teased and taunted by their classmates.” She added: “And now the Oscars, in all its political correctness, was telling the world it was okay to make jokes at the expense of a woman suffering from alopecia?”

As well as her relationship with Smith and the slap incident, Pinkett Smith also writes in her book about her mental health struggles. In another extract shared with People, she says that from the outside, it looked like she had "the beautiful family, the superstar husband" and "the lavish lifestyle” but that she had been putting on a brave face for “two decades”. The tell-all memoir will cover her rebellious youth in Baltimore, her relationship with Tupac Shakur and suicidal depression.

US actor Will Smith, with his award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for

Behind the scenes, Pinkett Smith says she was suffering from “bouts of depression and overwhelming hopelessness” and that when she turned 40 she "wanted to be on this earth less and less.” This low point was followed by a journey to "reclamation”.

Smith and Pinkett Smith have been married since 1997. They have two children, Jaden and Willow. Smith also has another son, Trey, from his previous marriage to Sheree Zampino, who Pinkett Smith refers to in her book as her “bonus son”.

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