Will Smith: “My Marriage Had Died”

will smith jada kissing

For the past nearly 21 years, Will & Jada Smith have built a reputation as being one of Hollywood’s most unshakable couples. The two met in 1994 on the set of Smith’s television series, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” began dating in 1995, and tied the knot in Pinkett-Smith’s Baltimore, Maryland hometown in 1997.

In a radio interview, Jada Pinkett Smith responded to rumors about her and Will’s marriage and put it all out on the table. “You know, you’ve gotta trust who you’re with, and at the end of the day, right, I’m not here to be anybody’s watcher. I’m not his watcher. He’s a grown man,” Jada said. “And here’s what I trust: I trust that the man that Will is. He’s a man of integrity. So, he’s got all the freedom in the world. He’s got all the freedom in the world, and as long as Will can look himself in the mirror and be okay, I’m good.”

Many people mistakenly took that quote that explains an “open marriage” or a “hall pass” for him to cheat. But, the couple says that is far from the truth. But Will did admit that within their highly talked about marriage, there have been times so rocky that their relationship has pretty much died at points. However, instead of calling it quits, these two just find a new way to make things work.

Will went off script and spoke from the heart at one of the BET Awards, recalling a story about lying in bed with his wife when he got a Google Alert saying TMZ reported that she’d filed for divorce from him. The re-telling garnered several laughs before Smith got serious.

(Photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

“In that brief moment my heart jumped for a second,” the Bad Boys actor said. “And I started to imagine what my life would’ve been like without that woman, you know? And we’ve been together for 20 years and I started to think about all of the things that I watched this woman do.”

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“As I thought what my life would be like and what the world would be like without her it made me sad, and I’m just standing here today happy that TMZ had it wrong,” the actor said.

Will also revealed what he considers to be the secret to maintaining a good marriage.

“We’ve been married 20 years and we’ve been asking ourselves [what’s the secret to marriage] and really at the end of the day it’s just not quitting.”

“You can’t expect it to be easy. It’s like our marriage was the most difficult, grueling, excruciating thing that we have ever taken on in our lives. And you know we’re just not quitters.”

The actor told Entertainment Tonight: “I would say is that we never went into working on our relationship. We only ever worked on ourselves individually, and then presented ourselves to one another better than we were previously.”

In early 2015, he told The Sun newspaper: “Whatever you have is gonna die and you are gonna have to rebirth something new. You have to be willing to ride the waves. There’s gonna be some flat days and some stormy days, and that has to be OK.”