Jada Pinkett Smith says she and Will Smith have lived separately since 2016

Actor says she and husband – banned from Oscars after hitting Chris Rock – are not romantically together although they have not divorced

Jada Pinkett Smith says she and Will Smith have lived separately since 2016
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2022 Oscars. ‘We will work through whatever,’ she said.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have been living separate lives since 2016, the actor revealed in an excerpt of her memoir and in a clip from a Today interview with Hoda Kotb.

Pinkett Smith discussed the status of their high-profile marriage in her new book Worthy, saying that though the pair have not technically divorced, she and Smith are no longer romantically together. In an interview with Hoda Kotb on Wednesday’s Today Show, the 52-year-old star said she and Smith have no plans to legally divorce.

“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce,” she said. “We will work through whatever. And I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”

Still, she confirmed to Kotb that the pair “live separately” and have for several years before Smith, 55, slapped Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars over a joke about Pinkett Smith’s alopecia, in an incident that made international headlines.

In a separate interview with People also published Wednesday, Pinkett Smith opened up about the Oscars slap, which got Smith banned from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for 10 years. “I thought, ‘This is a skit,’” she told the magazine. Like many viewers, she did not think Smith’s slap real. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’” It wasn’t until her husband returned to his chair that she “even realized it wasn’t a skit”.

Pinkett Smith recalled asking Smith, who went on to win the best actor Oscar and delivered a tearful speech, if he was OK when the two were finally alone after the show. “I’m going to be by his side,” she said, “but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself.”

“We’re still figuring it out,” she told People of the state of their marriage now. “We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together. We just got deep love for each other and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us.”

Following the slap, Smith resigned from the Academy’s board and accepted his 10-year ban from its events, including the Oscars. “I betrayed the trust of the Academy,” he said in a statement. “I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work.”

The couple married in Baltimore in December 1997 and share two adult children together, Jaden and Willow, in addition to Smith’s son Trey from a prior marriage.