Jada Pinkett Smith Said “So Many Positive Things” Came After Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock At The Oscars

“I nearly didn’t even attend the Oscars that year, but I’m glad I did,” she said during a new interview.

Would it really be the end of the year if we weren’t rounding up all the new information we learned about Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s marriage?

Jada and Will smile on the red carpet

As has now come to be expected, 2023 gave us a handful of new insights about the famous duo — perhaps most notably the revelation that they have been secretly separated for seven years.

Close-up of Will and Jada smiling and arm in arm on the red carpet

While promoting her new memoir, Worthy, in October, Jada told Hoda Kotb during an exclusive NBC special that she and Will — who tied the knot in 1997 — have been living “completely separate lives” since 2016.

Jada in a hoodie and coat as she sits for an interview

She explained during the interview that their marriage was “fractured” by “a lot of things,” and that she and Will made the decision to take some time apart after they’d both become “exhausted with trying.”

Jada smiling as she sits for an interview

“I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be,” she said.

Close-up of Will kissing Jada on the cheek

Of course, given that Jada and Will had been publicly presenting themselves as a couple during their break, the revelation that they weren’t even living together anymore came as quite the surprise.

Close-up of Will and Jada smiling and sitting together at a table during a media event

However, Jada emphasized that a divorce won’t ever be in the cards for her and Will: “I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. … We will work through whatever.”

Close-up of Will and Jada smiling and waving at a media event

Discussing Will frequently throughout the press tour, Jada gave some insight into the current nature of their relationship, revealing that they’re now fully committed to rebuilding their bond.

Close-up of Jada smiling at a microphone and wearing headphones

“We are working very hard at bringing our relationship together … back to a life partnership,” she said during an appearance on Today in October. “He can’t be this perfect, idealized husband. I have to be able to accept him for the human he is.”

Close-up of Jada sitting on a couch and being interviewed

As for the turning point in the separation period, Jada surprised fans by confessing it was the moment Will slapped Chris Rock in her defense at the 2022 Oscars when she realized they needed to work things out.

Will slapping Chris

“I was like, ‘I’m riding with you,’” she recalled of the incident during a public appearance earlier this year. “‘I didn’t come into this place as your wife, but I’m leaving here as your wife because we got a storm we’re going to have to deal with together.’”

Will smiling and holding his Oscar as she stands with Jada on the red carpet

And now Jada is doubling down on her experience and talking more about why the viral moment had such a deep impact on their marriage.

Jada and Will sitting in the audience at an event and holding hands

“I nearly didn’t even attend the Oscars that year, but I’m glad I did,” Jada revealed during a new interview with You magazine, via People magazine. “I call it the ‘holy slap’ now because so many positive things came after it.”

Will onstage holding up his Oscar

Reflecting on the controversy — which came about after Chris made a joke at Jada’s expense while presenting an award onstage at the ceremony — Jada emphasized that she knew instantly that she wanted to recommit to Will.

Will kissing a smiling Jada on the cheek

“That moment of the shit hitting the fan is when you see where you really are,” she said. “After all those years trying to figure out if I would leave Will’s side, it took that slap for me to see I will never leave him.”

Close-up of Jada in a crowd, looking serious

She added, “Who knows where our relationship would be if that hadn’t happened?”

Close-up of Will and Jada at a media event

And just as Jada has spoken about the profound positive impact that the controversy had on her life, Will recently seemed to echo similar sentiments while opening up about how “adversities of the last couple years” reaffirmed his life’s mission.

Will onstage holding his Oscar and wiping his face

“Fame is a unique monster. I've had to be really careful,” he said during an appearance at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia this month.

Will seated onstage and speaking into a microphone

“You can't get excited when everybody is saying good things about you, because the more you take when people are saying good things about you, the more hurt you're gonna be when people are saying bad things about you,” he added, perhaps alluding to the Oscars backlash.

Close-up of Will smiling in a suit and tie

“And I can't need others to applaud for me to stay focused on my mission,” he went on, adding that he has to “be clear about who [he is] and what [he is] attempting to do in the world.”

Will seated onstage and speaking into a microphone

“I have always wanted to put good into the world,” he said. “I have always wanted to make people smile. I have always been devoted to the process of joy and inspiration.”

Close-up of smiling and giving the peace sign
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