Jada Pinkett Smith’s Mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris Persuaded Her to Marry Will Smith: ‘I Didn’t Want to!’

Jada Pinkett Smith and Mom Adrienne Banfield-Noris Marry Will Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Noris and Will Smith. Getty Images (2)

She didn’t need the bells and whistles. Jada Pinkett Smith was hesitant to walk down the aisle when she married her now-husband, Will Smith, in 1997, but her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, was insistent.

“[My mom] wanted me to have a wedding. She wanted me to get married,” Pinkett Smith, 47, told Us Weekly and other reporters at the return celebration of her Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk, in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 16. “I didn’t want to! … She told me to get married and we better have a wedding.”

Banfield-Norris, 65, now recognizes that the persuasion was a “huge fail” on her part. She noted, “I really wanted a wedding. … I really didn’t get how much [Jada] didn’t want to have a wedding.”

The pair eventually settled into married life and welcomed two children: Jaden Smith, now 20, and Willow Smith, now 18. The Gotham alum also recalled how the Aladdin star helped her balance motherhood with a busy career in Hollywood.

“Will used to tell me all the time, he’d say, ‘Put your mask on first.’ You know, you’ll be on the plane and the pilot says, ‘Hey, look, if something goes down, put your mask on first,’” she said. “You can’t do jack for anybody else if you got a lack of oxygen. And I wish I had listened more to him because he would tell me that from day one, and I was like, ‘What does that even mean?’ That’s what that meant. … I’m gonna tell you what, if I’m breathing good, all y’all are gone be breathing good too.”

Pinkett Smith also spoke out about the backlash Ayesha Curry faced after admitting on Red Table Talk that she hates that women “will always be lurking” around her husband, Stephen Curry. “We have to expect that because everybody’s not ready. And that’s OK,” the Girls Trip actress asserted. “She’s OK. I talked to her, you know, and I said, ‘You know what? That truth was so real.’”

The Bad Moms actress, who married the Men in Black actor on New Year’s Eve in 1997, previously admitted that their nuptials were “horrible.” She confessed on a October 2018 episode of Red Table Talk: “I was so upset that I had to have a wedding. I was so pissed. I went crying down the freakin’ aisle getting married.”

With reporting by Taylor Ferber

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