However, in a snippet from her upcoming primetime special with NBC News, Pinkett Smith confessed that she and her 55-year-old husband have actually been separated since 2016—a revelation that stunned the internet.
The clip aired on Today on October 11, with Hota Kotb sitting down with Pinkett Smith to discuss her upcoming memoir Worthy, released on October 17.
“There are so many surprising things in the book,” Kotb said to Pinkett Smith. “But the thing that surprised me the most, that I actually had to reread it, because I said ‘is this true?’ was that in 2016, you and Will decided that you were going to live completely separate lives.”
“Right,” the 52-year-old actress nodded.
“It was not a divorce on paper,” Kotb continued, “but it was a divorce. From the year 2016, which is seven years ago now, y’all have been apart.”
“Yes,” Pinkett Smith confirmed.
Although rumors of a split have circled on and off for a number of years, the Smiths have always publicly maintained they’re a couple and are not legally divorced.
Social media users were shocked by the confession, with the separation news dividing people online.
Many viewers took to X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, to accuse Pinkett Smith of gaslighting and emasculating her husband.
“#JadaSmith is the most toxic woman on the planet!” said Maveen. “She has been using & sponging off of #WillSmith’s success.”
“Jada smith is out embarrassing Will smith every 30 working days,” wrote @_Rayling. “She must have something on him cos how does he stay silent and ‘supportive.'”
“I bet Will Smith also found out today that he and Jada Smith have been separated for 7 years like the rest of us,” joked @king_bangy.
“If they’re separated why don’t they just divorce!” asked Meh.
“Jada smith is officially the worst wife in the world,” commented Zaphkiel, while @otee44 branded her an “Emotional Manipulator.”
However, other users came out in support of The Nutty Professor star, with petra calling the backlash “pure misogyny.”
“The damn internet stopped talking about the literal war and is going on about jada smith,” said Kaylee.
“It’s always sad to hear about a separation,” wrote Sanjanna. “Relationships can be complex, and it’s important for individuals to prioritize their well-being and happiness.
“I hope both Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith find the support they need during this time.”
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith first met in 1994, when Pinkett Smith auditioned for a role on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. At the time, Smith was married to actress and producer Sheree Zampino, mother of his eldest son Trey Smith, 30.
Pinkett Smith didn’t land the role, with the part going to Nia Long. However, the pair reconnected at a party held by actress Tisha Campbell in 1995. They wed in Maryland in 1997, with their first child Jaden Smith coming along in July 1998. The pair also share Willow Smith, born in October 2000.
Newsweek has reached out to Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith for comment via email.