Will Smith is opening up about his first heartbreak, revealing he used sex as a coping mechanism after being cheated on at 16 years old.
In his newly released memoir — which hit the shelves earlier this month and is titled Will — the actor reflects on the demise of his first serious relationship with a girl named Melanie.
Will details that Melanie — who’d lived with her aunt due to her mother being in prison for murdering her father — had gone through a disturbing childhood. After she was kicked out by her aunt following a fight between the two, Will convinced his parents to take her in.
Will writes that from the moment he first met her, Melanie had been “the center” of his life, noting that he became preoccupied with “healing the pain of her trauma.”
“The look in Melanie's eyes became the substitute for Gigi's [his grandmother’s] approval. I've always needed a woman to achieve for,” he writes.
However, Will goes on to reveal that the relationship was short-lived, with things declining after Melanie cheated on him while he was away on a two-week music tour.
Will reveals that after Melanie was unfaithful in their relationship, he resorted to excessive and indiscriminate sex as a way of dealing with his heartbreak.
“I desperately need relief but as there is no pill for heartbreak, I resorted to the homeopathic remedies of shopping and rampant sexual intercourse,” Will writes.
“Up until this point in my life, I had only had sex with one woman other than Melanie,” he writes. "But over the next few months, I went full ghetto hyena."
Shockingly, Will reveals that engaging in so much sexual intercourse eventually led to him developing a “psychosomatic reaction” to having an orgasm.
“I had sex with so many women, and it was so constitutionally disagreeable to the core of my being, that I developed a psychosomatic reaction to having an orgasm,” he writes.
“It would literally make me gag and sometimes even vomit,” he adds.
However, Will notes that his efforts to heal from being cheated on were to no avail, writing that because he was looking for a meaningful connection, the indiscriminate nature of his sexual encounters had no effect.
“In every case, though, I hoped to God this beautiful stranger would be ‘the one’ who would love me, who would make this pain go away,” he writes. “But invariably, there I was, retching and wretched. And the look in the eyes of the women even further deepened my agony.”
Will goes on to say that though he and Melanie briefly reconciled, they ultimately broke up for good. He details a time of “resentment, rage, and destruction” around their split, and recalls collecting all of the things he’d ever bought for her and setting them on fire while she watched.
Elsewhere in his memoir, Will, who is now 53, details aspects of his sex life with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, recalling how he determinedly tried to “satisfy” her in the early days of their relationship.
If you didn’t know, Will and Jada — who got married in 1997, and share two children, Jaden, 23, and Willow, 20 — have long been open about their tumultuous 26-year relationship.
“We drank every day, and had sex multiple times every day, for four straight months,” Will writes.
“I started to wonder if this was a competition. Either way, as far as I was concerned, there were only two possibilities: (1) I was going to satisfy this woman sexually, or (2) I was going to die trying,” he adds.
Will goes on to share bleaker details of their relationship that unfolded over the years. He discloses that the pair decided to temporarily split in 2011 following a brutal argument that ensued after Jada rejected an “ego-driven” birthday party he’d thrown her.
In a bid to rediscover himself and search for self-clarity after the split, Will writes that he visited a tantric sex expert in Trinidad and traveled to Peru for several ayahuasca rituals.
Will details his experience with the intimacy counselor and tantric sex specialist, who helped him understand his thoughts about having a “harem” of girlfriends — including fellow A-listers Misty Copeland and Halle Berry — despite being married.
And Will opened up about the guilt he’d initially felt around these thoughts due to his Christian upbringing, in a candid interview with GQ back in September.
“What [the coach] was doing was essentially cleaning out my mind, letting it know it was okay to be me and be who I was,” he told GQ. “It was okay to think Halle is fine. It doesn’t make me a bad person that I’m married and I think Halle is beautiful. Whereas in my mind, in my Christian upbringing, even my thoughts were sins.”
“That was really the process that [the coach] worked me through to let me realize that my thoughts were not sins and even acting on an impure thought didn’t make me a piece of shit,” he added.
Will went on to reveal that Jada, on the other hand, had been raised in a more “unconventional” environment.
“Jada never believed in conventional marriage … Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship,” Will said. “So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up.”
And Will went on to confirm that he and Jada have an open relationship — something that had been speculated ever since the pair appeared on an episode of Jada’s show Red Table Talk last July to publicly address rumors of infidelity in their marriage.
If you missed it, the speculation began after singer August Alsina said he'd had a relationship with Jada in 2015 — with Will’s permission.
Addressing August’s claims on the Red Table episode, both Jada and Will revealed that they were actually separated indefinitely at the time. Jada said it was after the split that she’d found herself in an “entanglement” with August, which she clarified had been a romantic relationship.
In the GQ piece, the author noted that those who watched the Red Table Talk episode might have thought that Jada was “the only one engaging in other sexual relationships,” adding that Will had “delicately explained” that this was not the case.
“We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way,” Will said. “And marriage for us can’t be a prison. And I don’t suggest our road for anybody... But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”
Elsewhere, Jada recently found herself refuting reports that emerged from comments she made that implied she finds it difficult to maintain a healthy sex life with Will.
On an episode of Red Table last month, Jada — accompanied by her mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris and guest star Gwyneth Paltrow — discussed the importance of communication when it comes to sex. After Gwyneth talked about having “the best sex of her life” as a newlywed, Jada hinted that she felt differently in her own relationship with Will.
“It's hard. The thing Will and I talk about a lot is the journey. We started in this at a very young age, you know, 22 years old,” Jada said. “That's why the accountability part really hit for me because I think you expect your partner to know [what you need], 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.”