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Jada Pinkett Smith Was ‘Devastated’ When Son Jaden Wanted to Be Emancipated

Jada Pinkett Smith Devastated Jaden Emancipated
Jaden Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the Umami Burger x Jaden Smith Artist Series Launch Event at The Grove on October 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

Breaking away. Jada Pinkett Smith revealed her initial reaction to her son Jaden wanting to be emancipated.

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“At 15 years old, Jaden, and I remember this day specifically. It’s probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life,” the 46-year-old actress said during the Monday, June 4, episode of Red Table Talk. “You got to a point where you told me straight up, you were like, ‘Mom, I have to leave here to live my life.’”

Pinkett Smith continued, recounting the story to daughter Willow, mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones and Jaden: “I remember thinking to myself, as devastated as I was, I was like, ‘He’s right. The time is now. He’s 15. It’s time for him to leave the house.’”

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Though the Karate Kid actor, now 19, ultimately decided against emancipation, his mother understood why she had to go along with Jaden’s idea at the time. “Every child needs something different,” the Girls Trip star explained. “Being in this lifestyle, in this world, is a bubble, and he wanted out. I understood that because I didn’t have the bubble. I knew what having my freedom outside the bubble, what I gained from that. I knew the sooner I let him go, the faster he was going to come back.”

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Jaden spoke out about his decision to forego emancipation during a 2013 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “See, here’s the thing: I’m not going anywhere,” the rapper said at the time. “The thing that people don’t get is everything at this house is free.”

He added: “I can get anything and everything at [dad Will’s] house, so I’m going to be there for 20, 30 years. He says as soon as I have a movie that’s bigger than one of his movies, I can get my own house.”

Will — who denied the emancipation rumors at the time — quipped: “He’s never leaving me, ever. No emancipation for the Smith kids.”

Jada and Will tied the knot in 1997. They are also parents of 17-year-old Willow and 25-year-old Trey, the actor’s son from a previous marriage.

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