In a preview of an upcoming primetime particular, Jada Pinkett Smith reveals that she and husband Will Smith have been separated since 2016 after the couple turned “exhausted with trying” to maintain their marriage collectively. The interview with Hoda Kotb, “Jada’s Story — An NBC News Special” will air on Friday (Oct. 13) at 8 p.m ET on NBC.

Pinkett Smith is doing press to advertise her upcoming memoir, Worthy (out Oct. 17), by which she describes the couple’s cut up for the primary time, writing that they’ve been dwelling “completely separate lives” for greater than seven years. Jada advised Kotb that it was not a divorce “on paper,” nevertheless it was undoubtedly a divorce of their minds, even because the couple continued to current a united public entrance.

The actress how stated she considers herself a “straight talker,” advised Kotb that the couple had been simply “not ready yet” to share their secret. “Still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership,” she stated in an excerpt of the interview launched by NBC. “In regards to how do we present that to people? We hadn’t figured that out.”

Strolling via her Baltimore house city, Pinkett Smith stated the connection broke down for lots of causes. “I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying,” she stated. “I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.” Although Pinkett Smith stated she thought-about a authorized divorce, she may by no means undergo with it as a result of she made a promise that there would by no means be a purpose for the couple to separate.

“‘We will work through whatever,’” she told herself. “And I just haven’t been capable of break that promise.”

Jada and Will had been married in 1997, with son Jaden born a yr later, adopted by daughter Willow in 2000. Pinkett Smith stated they’re nonetheless dwelling aside and at current don’t plan on getting divorced.

The couple has been dogged by rumors for years, together with a persistent one which they had been in an “open marriage,” a subject Pinkett Smith addressed in 2013 throughout a HuffPo Reside occasion when she stated, “I’ve always told Will, ‘You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay.’ Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I’m here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that’s not for me to do for him. Or vice versa.”

After backlash, Pinkett Smith responded in a Fb put up by which she stated, “Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship… this means we have a GROWN one.” These persistent rumors popped up once more in 2020 when Pinkett Smith, 52, invited singer and household buddy August Alsina on to her “Red Table Talk” present to debate what she dubbed as a romantic “entanglement” that occurred whereas she and Smith had been briefly separated.

The surprising revelation of the Smith’s separation has added heft in mild of her Oscar-winning estranged husband storming the stage on the 2022 Oscars and violently smacking Chris Rock throughout the face after the comic made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s bald coiffure; the actress suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune illness that causes hair loss.

Smith famously yelled “keep my wife’s name out your f–in’ mouth!” throughout an incident that acquired the star banned from all Academy occasions for 10 years after he collected a greatest actor Oscar later within the evening for his work in King Richard.

In a Individuals journal interview selling the e book, Pinkett Smith stated she hasn’t talked to Rock for the reason that March 27, 2022 incident. “[Do I have] any desire to talk to Chris? Here’s my desire: I just hope that all the misunderstanding around this can be cleared up and that there can be peace,” she advised the journal.

“I talk about this in the book, I think that there might be some misunderstanding between Chris and I as far as the 2016 Oscars,” she stated of Jada’s assist for the 2016 #OscarsSoWhite protest that referred to as for a boycott of the present over the shortage of Black illustration in its nominations that yr; Pinkett Smith lent her assist after Will was not nominated for his position within the soccer drama Concussion. “I that he might’ve taken offense, which I meant no harm in offending. That wasn’t my intention. But I do think that there’s a big misunderstanding there.”

Host Rock made some jokes about Pinkett Smith in his monologue that yr and in his Selective Outrage stand-up particular earlier this yr he stated that she had advised again then that he ought to quit the internet hosting slot out of solidarity with the motion. She now says she might not have acknowledged the “level of pressure [Chris] might’ve been under” again then and that she ought to have referred to as him to see how he was feeling.

Pinkett Smith stated Rock later referred to as her to apologize, which allowed her to say she was sorry to him as properly. “So I actually thought that we were good, that the hatchet was buried between us. And we hadn’t talked since then, until 2022 came,” she stated, revealing that proper after the slap Rock got here all the way down to the entrance of the stage throughout a pause within the broadcast and tried to apologize to her. Pinkett Smith additionally advised Individuals that in the first place she thought the stage slap was “a skit” earlier than realizing that the violence was actual.

“He said, ‘I didn’t mean you any harm.’ I said, ‘I can’t talk about this now, Chris. This is some old s—,’” she recalled of what Rock stated to her after the assault. “I thought this was [about] the Oscar 2016 and … their stuff that they had before I even came into the picture in the late ‘80s. I’ve got to leave that to Will and Chris to talk about, but they got their stuff for sure.”

From the place Pinkett Smith was sitting, she stated she couldn’t inform if 6’2″ Smith had struck the comic, “because, number one, I’d seen Will in the boxing ring with pro fighters — Will’s a heavy-hitter. So when Chris moved, it looked like he ducked or he missed the shot. And when he continued to stand, and then when he continued to walk down to the end of the stage, I was like, ‘There’s no way. There’s no way that Will hit him.’”

It wasn’t till later, she stated, that she realized the smack was actual. “I was in as much of a fog as anybody else in that room that night,” she stated.

Including much more drama to the story, Pinkett Smith dropped one more bombshell, saying that Rock as soon as requested her out on a date throughout a interval when there have been studies that she and Will had been getting divorced.

“And this particular summer, Chris, he thought that we were getting a divorce,” she stated of the practically annual studies of hassle within the Smith marriage. “So he called me and basically he was like, ‘I’d love to take you out.’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ He was like, ‘Well, aren’t you and Will getting a divorce?’ I was like, ‘No. Chris, those are just rumors.’ He was appalled. And he profusely apologized and that was that.”