Will Smith says his idea of a perfect family led to a 'decline' in his marriage with Jada Pinkett Smith

Red Table Talk/FacebookWill Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been married since 1997.
  • For the latest episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’sFacebook Watch series “Red Table Talk,” the actress sat down with husband Will Smith, mother Adrienne Banfield Norris, and daughter Willow Smith.
  • During the conversation, Will elaborated on how his ego and vision for an ideal family led to a “decline” in his marriage with Pinkett Smith.
  • One moment that made him realise that he became too preoccupied with his family’s public perception took place when he threw a lavish party for Pinkett Smith’s 40th birthday, which backfired.
  • He also recalled feeling “on top of the world” when Willow’s song “Whip My Hair” became a hit and she got signed to Jay-Z’s record label. Then his daughter said that she no longer wanted to continue singing.
  • “I saw for the first time what Jada had been saying the whole time about hiding behind my ego and my dreams and my desires and pretending like it’s love,” he said.

Will Smith’s idea of a perfect family with Jada Pinkett Smith caused the couple to experience ongoing issues, and led to a “decline.”

During the latest episode of Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk,” titled “Our Unique Union,” the actress sat down with her mother, Adrienne Banfield Norris, daughter, Willow Smith, and husband, Will Smith, for a candid discussion.

While talking about the “low point” of their relationship, Pinkett Smith and Will detailed the incidents that resulted in issues. This includes Pinkett Smith’s 40th birthday, where the “Men in Black” star threw an elaborate party for her. After the event, the actress told Will that “the party was the most ridiculous display” of his ego. But that wasn’t the only time Will’s ideal vision got in the way of his real relationship with his family.

“I was much more conscious of public perception than Jada,” Will explained.

“I think I was trying to live up to an idea for him,” Pinkett Smith chimed in, saying that she spent years going along with Will’s plans for a flawless family.

Will went on to say that he “cried so hard” after his wife’s 40th birthday that his eyes were red.

‘That was a difficult one for me, when you stopped clapping when I did things in the exterior world that were great,” he told her.

The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star added that another moment that struck him involved Willow’s music career. In 2010, she released the song “Whip My Hair,”signed a record deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation record label, and went on tour.

“We were at the top of the world,” Will recalled.

Then his daughter said that she was “done.” At the time, Will told her that she made a commitment to Jay-Z and couldn’t quit.

The next day, Willow shaved her hair off, which Will said “was a deep protest.”

Willow Smith Will SmithMike Coppola/Getty ImagesWillow Smith and Will Smith at the ‘Madagascar 3’ premiere in 2012.

“I had a crazy realisation in that moment,” the “Collateral Beauty” star said. “I was building what I wanted for her and she tried all the different ways to say, ‘I don’t want that.'”

He continued: “I saw for the first time what Jada had been saying the whole time about hiding behind my ego and my dreams and my desires and pretending like it’s love.”

Will went on to say that he reached the conclusion that Pinkett Smith wasn’t interested in the material things he provided.

“The house was too big, there were always too many people here, she didn’t want to have to travel the way we travelled, she didn’t want all of her kids to be trolled on Twitter,” he said. “She didn’t want any of that.”

“That’s why I stopped clapping, and it was a decline from there,” Pinkett Smith said.

In the previous episode, Will revealed that he “was failing miserably, but on the outside I was winning.”

“I was building a picture,” he said. “I grew up in a household where I was scared and watched my father beat my mother up. I was gonna build the complete opposite of that.”

He added: “I had a public perception that I wanted to project of our relationship, of the family, and what my kids are and what my wife is and what we are in the world.”

Trey Smith, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Will SmithRandy Shropshire/Getty Images for Environmental Media AssociationJaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Will Smith.

In order to overcome their rough period, Will had “to let go of the picture” and “let go of the dream,” which he called devastating.

“We essentially had to destroy our marriage,” he added.

Now, the couple has been married for more than 20 years and talk openly about how they raise their kids (Willow and Jaden) and how they have managed to refrain from swearing at each other. Pinkett Smith and Will have also reached a point where they don’t refer to themselves as married because they believe that such labels create expectations and pressure.

Watch the full episode of “Red Table Talk” below.




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