(KTLA) – For years, rumors have swirled about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s relationship being on the rocks.
Amid the talk, the two have kept up public appearances as a happy married couple, even during the infamous Red Table Talk, on which Pinkett Smith revealed her “entanglement” with singer August Alsina.
Now the actress is revealing that she and the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” have been separated since 2016.
She told Hoda Kotb of the Today Show that she and Smith aren’t together romantically.
Kotb pointed out that the “Set It Off” actress is a “straight talker” except she’s “not sometimes,” referring to her marriage.
Pinkett Smith revealed she just wasn’t ready to speak the truth about her marriage.
“(We were) still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership, and in regards to how do we present that to people,” she explained. “And we hadn’t figured that out.”
When Kotb asked the cause of the split, she said, “That’s a lot of things.”
“I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying,” she said. “I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”
In the interview that aired on Wednesday, Pinkett Smith explained that she thought about getting a divorce but never went 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,” she explained.
Privately, the couple had not called themselves husband and wife for years, and they were living separately. However, that wasn’t the same in their public lives. When the “Emancipation” actor slapped Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards, he specifically told Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth.”
The “Girls Trip” star’s interview comes as her memoir “Worthy” is set to be released. In the book, she shares “her side” of the infamous Oscar slap.
In an interview with PEOPLE, she explained she thought it was a skit, too.
“I thought, ‘This is a skit.’ I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him,'” she said. “It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit.”
The couple tied the knot on New Year’s Eve in 1997 and have two children together, son Jaden, and daughter Willow. The “King Richard” actor has a son, Trey, with his ex-wife Sheree Zampino.
Pinkett Smith’s book “Worthy” hits shelves on Oct. 17.