Built to make it! Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s 20-plus years of marriage have outlasted many Hollywood relationships. The couple seem as though they have figured out the magic formula to keeping the spark alive — even if they had to address rumors throughout their decades together.
The actor met the Red Table Talk cohost when she auditioned to play his girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Pinkett Smith did not get the role — Nia Long ended up playing the part — but the two later struck up a romantic relationship.
Prior to his marriage to the actress, the Bad Boys for Life star wed Sheree Zampino in May 1992. The pair’s son, Trey, arrived in November 1992. Smith and the Hollywood Exes alum divorced in 1995.
“Divorce was the worst thing in my adult life,” Smith admitted during a June 2020 episode of Red Table Talk. “Divorce was the ultimate failure for me. I’ve been hurt a lot in my adult life, but I don’t think anything touches the failure of getting divorced from my 2-year-old son’s mother.”
The Oscar nominee’s split from Zampino seemingly informed his approach to marriage with Pinkett Smith, as they have repeatedly made clear divorce has never been an option for them.
Meanwhile, the Maryland native addressed how important self-love is in a relationship too. “Without personal power/self love [sic], there is no foundation to build love for someone else because it’s the power needed to dissolve the ego which is our greatest obstacle to truly loving anyone,” she wrote on Instagram in February 2019. “Without self love [sic], all one has is their ego which gives a false sense of personal power through its brutal and unkind nature. The ego will never fail to strangle the love out of one’s heart if we allow it to take center stage in our relationships.”
She continued: “Transferring our trust to our hearts from our egos is a painful process in learning HOW to love. BUT … through it all … when we finally get to the place where we can give and receive love in its most pure state … ego free … it is only ever … beauty.”
In March 2022, Smith came under fire after he slapped Chris Rock across the face at the 94th annual Academy Awards after the comedian cracked a joke about Pinkett Smith’s hair loss. (She has spoken extensively about battling alopecia.) While he faced repercussions for his actions — the King Richard star was subsequently banned from all Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences events for 10 years — his wife has stood by his side, breaking her silence in a June 2022 episode of Red Table Talk.
“Until [Will and Chris reconcile], Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together,” she said.
Scroll through to see what Smith and Pinkett Smith have said about their marriage through the years.