Will Smith shocked everyone by slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars and coming to Jada Pinkett Smith’s defense by saying, “Keep my wife’s name out of your damn mouth.” But Jada was surprised for a different reason, as Will hadn’t called her “wife” for a while before this.
Last week, she spoke out about the Oscars slap for the first time, telling People magazine she thought it was “a skit” when Will approached the stage to confront Rock. She also revealed that she and Will had been separated for six years at that point.
“First of all, I was really shocked, because we hadn’t called each other husband and wife in a long time,” Jada told Today while promoting her book, “Worthy,” released on Oct. 17. “I was like, ‘What’s going on now? Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth?’ I was really worried about Will because I didn’t know what was going on.”
At the Oscars in March 2022, Will stormed the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada’s bald head. She, who has alopecia, rolled her eyes after Rock called her GI Jane.
“I made that eye movement not so much for myself — and I think that’s really important — but for the fact that there could be a mockery of alopecia,” Jada told Today.
After the slap, Will won the Oscar for best actor and gave a five-minute speech. He later resigned from the Academy amid backlash over the slap, and was banned from attending events such as the Oscars for 10 years.
“We’re still trying to figure it out,” Jada tells PEOPLE about the state of her marriage. “We’ve been doing some really hard work together. We’ve just felt a deep love for each other and we’re going to figure out what that looks like for us.”
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