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Jada Pinkett Smith thought Oscar slap was ‘a skit’; ‘There’s no way that Will hit him’


Obidigbo Nzeribe for PEOPLE

Jada Pinkett Smith covers the Oct. 23, 2023 issue of People magazine. In the cover story, she discusses surprising revelations in her new book, Worthy.

Jada says she was confused when her husband, Will Smith, stormed onstage and slapped comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscar Awards.

“I thought, ‘This is a skit,’” Jada tells People. Like most people sitting in the audience and at home, Jada thought the slap was staged. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’ It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit.”

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The slap occurred right after Chris cracked a joke about Jada’s bald head: “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” he said, which prompted Jada to roll her eyes.

Jada’s reaction triggered Will, who stormed onstage and forcefully slapped the comedian.

Jada said the first thing she asked Will backstage after the incident was “Are you OK?”

She discusses his response to that question in her upcoming book, Worthy, set to be released on Oct. 17.

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Jada, 52, is committed to standing by her 55-year-old husband, stating, “I’m going to be by his side, but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself.”

Jada also revealed she and Will have been living separately since 2016, and they are trying to figure out the future of their marriage.

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She said Will’s intense love caused her to stop taking Prozac for depression.

“When I turned 40, I was in so much pain. I couldn’t figure a way out besides death. So I made a plan,” she wrote in her book.

Jada battled intrusive thoughts telling her to commit suicide. “‘Just kill yourself. You’re not worth anything, you ain’t sh–t.’”

Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

But Jada didn’t want her children, Jaden, 25, and Willow, 22, to believe she took her own life.

“My children, they’re little gurus,” she said. “They’ve taught me a deep sense of self-acceptance. The level of love, unconditional love that they have for me and their dad is extraordinary.”

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