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Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith Split 6 Years Before Oscars Drama — and They’re Still Living Apart

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith are currently separated — and have been since before he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.

“We’re still figuring it out,” Pinkett Smith, 52, told People on Wednesday, October 10. “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.”

In a separate interview with Today, the actress, who exchanged vows with Smith, 55, in 1997, explained why the spouses have not filed for divorce.

“I think just not being ready yet. Still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership, right, and in regards to how do we present that to people, you know? And we hadn’t figured that out,” Pinkett Smith detailed to Today that same day.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith- A Timeline of Their Evolved Relationship - 917 'Emancipation' film premiere, Los Angeles, California, USA - 30 Nov 2022

Related: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's Relationship Timeline

According to Pinkett Smith, there are “a lot” of reasons why her marriage “fractured,” adding, “I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith Were Separated for 6 Years Before Oscars Drama 2
Chris Rock and Will Smith ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The pair, who share kids Jaden, 25, Willow, 22, no longer live together, but haven’t completely given up on their relationship.

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

Pinkett Smith and Smith’s marriage has faced major ups and downs over the years. In July 2020, August Alsina claimed he had been romantically involved with Pinkett Smith — with Smith’s approval.

Related: Everything Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Have Said About Their Marriage

After initially denying the musician’s claims, Pinkett Smith later revealed that she was separated from Smith when the “entanglement” took place. “We were over. From there, as time went on, I got into a different kind of entanglement with August,” she said on Red Table Talk that same month.

The actor subsequently joined his wife on the talk show where they recalled parting ways — but made it seem like they had moved past the scandal. “We decided we were going to separate for a period of time and you go figure out how to make yourself happy and I’ll figure out how to make myself happy,” he explained in July 2020. “I really felt like we could be over.”

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith Were Separated for 6 Years Before Oscars Drama
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Pinkett Smith and Smith were back in the headlines when Smith slapped Rock following a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head at the 2022 Oscars. (Pinkett Smith has candidly discussed her experience with alopecia.)

Every Time Celebrities Talked About Jada Pinkett Smith Will Smith Marriage

Related: Every Time Celebs Weighed In on Jada and Will's Most Talked About Moments

Smith issued an apology shortly after the incident but was ultimately banned from all Oscars events for 10 years following his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith Were Separated for 6 Years Before Oscars Drama 3
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

“I thought, ‘This is a skit.’ I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him,’” Pinkett Smith recalled to People. “It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit.”

She added: “I’m going to be by his side but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself.”

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