Speaking from experience, Jada Pinkett Smith does not advise dating anybody in a midst of a divorce.
The 47-year-old actress and 50-year-old actor Will Smith wed more than 20 years ago. In a recent episode of her new Facebook Watch talk show Red Table Talk, Jada emphasized that she and Will “did not have an affair while he was married.” However, he was still legally married; Will said on the program that he asked Jada out moments after deciding to grant his first wife Sheree Zampino Fletcher’s request for a divorce in 1995. It was finalized months later.
In an interview with E! News, Jada said she does not give dating advice to her and the actor’s children, Jaden Smith and Willow Smith, but rather shares her own experiences with them.
“They have to find their way in regards to that, because I’m gonna tell you, you gotta be real careful with that because if anybody was in their right mind, they would’ve told me not to date Will when I did,” she said. “He was in the middle of a divorce! Fresh! I would not suggest anybody do that.”
“But you don’t know what your fate is,” she continued. “Looking back, that was not a smart move. But it worked out how it was supposed to.”
Sheree and Jada discussed the issue on the premiere of Red Table Talk in May.
“Because I did not understand marriage, I didn’t understand divorce,” Jada told her. “I will say that I probably should have fell back.”
“Ya think?” Sheree replied, then asked, “Oh, you thought it was done?”
“See, that’s where I was wrong,” Jada said. “Now, being a married woman and if Will and I were to get divorced now, my God. So when I think back about where I was, some of my insensitivity, some of my inconsideration just in regards to you guys unwinding a marriage.”
She and Will wed in 1997, two years after he and Sheree finalized their divorce, while Jada was pregnant with Jaden.
Jada also talked to E! News about her close relationship with her kids.
“I know when I have to put those boundaries down as ‘Mommy,'” she said. “My kids respect me and I respect them. It’s not really difficult to transition from the parenting role into friendship role.”
“When you called Jaden yesterday—I was listening to the conversation—they talked probably for an hour,” said Jada’s mom Adrienne Banfield-Jones, who also appears on her Facebook Watch show. “She’s like that with all her kids. It’s amazing.”
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