As has now come to be expected, 2023 gave us a handful of new insights about the famous duo — perhaps most notably, the revelation that they have been secretly separated for seven years.
She explained during the interview that their marriage was “fractured” by “a lot of things,” and that she and Will made the decision to take some time apart after they’d both become “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,” she said.
Of course, being that Jada and Will had been publicly presenting themselves as a couple during their break, the revelation that they weren’t even living together anymore came as quite the surprise.
However, Jada emphasized that a divorce won’t ever be on the cards for her and Will, saying: “I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce… We will work through whatever.”
Discussing Will frequently throughout the press tour, Jada gave some insight on the current nature of their relationship, revealing that they’re now fully committed to rebuilding their bond.
“We are working very hard at bringing our relationship together… back to a life partnership,” she said during an appearance on Today in October. “He can’t be this perfect idealized husband. I have to be able to accept him for the human he is.”
As for the turning point in the separation period, Jada surprised fans by confessing it was the moment that Will slapped Chris Rock in defense of her at the 2022 Oscars that she realized they needed to work things out.
“I was like, ‘I’m riding with you,’” she recalled of the incident during a public appearance earlier this year. “‘I didn’t come into this place as your wife, but I’m leaving here as your wife because we got a storm we’re going to have to deal with together.’”
And now, Jada is doubling down on her experience and talking more about why the viral moment had such a deep impact on their marriage.
“I nearly didn’t even attend the Oscars that year, but I’m glad I did,” Jada revealed during a new interview with You Magazine. “I call it the ‘holy slap’ now because so many positive things came after it.”
Reflecting on the controversy — which came about after Chris made a joke at Jada’s expense while presenting an award on stage at the ceremony — Jada emphasized that she knew instantly that she wanted to recommit to Will.
“That moment of the shit hitting the fan is when you see where you really are,” she said. “After all those years trying to figure out if I would leave Will’s side, it took that slap for me to see I will never leave him.”
“Who knows where our relationship would be if that hadn’t happened?” she added.
And just as Jada has spoken about the profound positive impact that the controversy had on her life, Will recently seemed to echo similar sentiments while opening up about how “adversities of the last couple years” reaffirmed his life’s mission.
“Fame is a unique monster. I’ve had to be really careful,” he said during an appearance at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia this month.
“You can’t get excited when everybody is saying good things about you, because the more you take when people are saying good things about you, the more hurt you’re gonna be when people are saying bad things about you,” he added, perhaps alluding to the Oscars backlash.
“And I can’t need others to applaud for me to stay focused on my mission,” he went on, adding that he has to “be clear about who I am and what I am attempting to do in the world.”
“I have always wanted to put good into the world,” he said. “I have always wanted to make people smile. I have always been devoted to the process of joy and inspiration.”