Jada Pinkett Smith, a woman whose life journey has spanned from the streets of Baltimore to the pinnacle of Hollywood, is breaking her silence. It’s a silence that has lingered for 18 months, a hush surrounding an incident that unfolded on the grand stage of the Academy Awards in 2022, involving her husband Will Smith.
At the Oscars, in front of millions of viewers, Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after a joke about Jada’s shaved head, a result of her battle with alopecia. Many, like Jada, initially thought it was part of a scripted skit. She recalls thinking, “There’s no way that Will hit him,” as she watched it unfold on live television. The reality only sunk in when Will returned to his seat. Her first words to him after the show were a simple, “Are you okay?”
In her forthcoming book, “Worthy,” set to release on October 17, Jada shares her perspectives on the incident and many other facets of her life, including her challenging childhood and complex marriage. She emphasizes her commitment to supporting Will while allowing him to navigate his path through the aftermath of the Oscar incident.
Before that eventful night in March 2022, Jada’s life was a tapestry woven with numerous threads, each telling a story. She characterizes her life as one that encompassed several distinct phases, remarking, “I was living a lot of them at one time.”
The daughter of parents dealing with substance abuse, she emerged from a difficult Baltimore childhood to showcase her talent as a performer. Jada spent a year studying theater at the North Carolina School for the Arts before embarking on her journey to Hollywood. There, she landed roles in both television and film, with notable credits in projects like “A Different World,” “Set It Off,” “Menace II Society,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Collateral,” and “The Matrix.”
Yet, it was in this glamorous but tumultuous journey that she crossed paths with a young and aspiring actor, Will Smith. Their initial encounters were fleeting, but after Will’s divorce from his first wife, he boldly declared, “Well, you’re going out with me now.” Reflecting on that moment, Jada shares a laugh, saying, “Can you believe I fell for that?”
As we delve into her story, it becomes evident that her life was a rollercoaster of highs and lows, with periods of profound despair. She opens up about her struggles with depression and feeling an overwhelming void, even during what appeared to be her most glamorous years.
“When I turned 40, I was in so much pain. I couldn’t figure a way out besides death. So I made a plan.”
The outwardly perfect life hid an inner turmoil. She recalls the voices that haunted her, urging her to end her life. “Just kill yourself. You’re not worth anything, you ain’t s—,” they would say. Jada began plotting her own demise, searching for cliffs where she could have an accident, all because she didn’t want her children to believe their mother had committed suicide.
Then, in a twist of fate, a glimmer of hope emerged from an unexpected source. Friends of her son Jaden mentioned their father’s transformative experience with an ayahuasca ceremony. This ceremony, led by a guide, involves a plant-based psychedelic brew that induces hallucinations and self-reflection.
“Ayahuasca helped me, it gave me a new intimate relationship with myself that I had never had before.” Jada explains that since her first experience with the plant-based medicine, “the suicidal thoughts completely went away.”
Furthermore, Jada reveals that her husband and adult children have also embarked on their own ayahuasca journeys. Their family life and particularly her marriage have long intrigued the public. This remarkable couple’s story began with a simple declaration from Will, and their journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Jada Pinkett Smith’s life is a testament to resilience, transformation, and the pursuit of self-acceptance. From the streets of Baltimore to the pinnacle of Hollywood, she has embraced every facet of her journey, facing it all with grace, vulnerability, and an unwavering commitment to understanding herself and the world around her. In her forthcoming book, “Worthy,” she bares her soul, sharing her story with the world, and reminding us all of the power of resilience and self-discovery.