Will Smith has never had an issue with laying it all out there when it comes to talking about his longtime marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith.
In a new episode of Pinkett Smith’s popular Facebook Watch talk show series Red Table Talk, Smith admitted that he always knew they would end up together from day one. Smith, 50, revealed that he once visited the set of A Different World in hopes of meeting Pinkett Smith, the star of the show, but he ended up hitting it off with another woman that day.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor ultimately married that person, Sheree Fletcher, in May 1992, but the couple ended up splitting after more than three years of marriage. (Together, they now share a son named Trey). In retrospect, Smith said, he knew in his gut that it wasn’t the right relationship for him, and that he and Pinkett Smith were meant to be together.
“I knew that was the woman I was supposed to be with, but I was never getting divorced,” Smith said, referring to Pinkett Smith, whom he did end up meeting after “all of these near misses.”
The actor even cried knowing he’d lost his shot with the actress, but when Fletcher ended up filing for divorce, the window of opportunity opened once again. In December 1997, they married.
But despite exchanging vows with his soulmate, Smith said, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. “There was a period where mommy woke up and cried 45 days straight. I started keeping diaries,” Smith told their daughter Willow, 17, at one point during the episode. Pinkett Smith jokingly chimed in that he “missed some days.”
“Every morning,” Smith continued. “I think that’s the worst I’ve ever felt in our marriage. I was failing miserably.”
While it’s as-yet unclear what exact circumstances gave way to the bad period in the couple’s marriage, it’s clear that their willingness to talk about everything has helped them to soldier on as a strong married couple in an industry where relationships can often feel so fleeting.
Smith hasn’t been shy about voicing his love for his wife either. In September 2015, he shared a sweet image of Pinkett Smith from 20 years ago, wishing her a happy birthday and praising her for always being her whole self.
“This was taken at your mom’s house 20 years ago,” he captioned the photo. “That’s a long time ago!!! I have sung happy birthday to you 20 times and I have bought you 19 birthday presents. (I was mad that one year). I have watched you blow out 693 candles (737 after tonight). I’ve told you ‘I love you’ at least 8,285 times. And of the nearly 3.96 Billion women on the planet–there is only 1 that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Happy Birthday, my Love!”
In addition to Willow, the couple also share a son, Jaden, 20. The couple maintains an amicable relationship with his first wife, Fletcher. Last December, the Smiths celebrated 20 years of marriage.
“We don’t even say we’re married anymore. We refer to ourselves as ‘life partners,’” he told TIDAL in July. “You get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life… There’s no deal breakers. There’s nothing she could do. Ever. Nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support [until] death, and it feels so good to get to that space.”
Pinkett Smith’s series “Red Table Talk” will feature other celebrity guests, including Leah Remini, Ellen Pompeo and more, and will tackle such topics as mental health, forgiveness, race, divorce and domestic violence.
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