Things You Might Not Know About Will Smith And Jada Pinkett Smith’s RelationshipPublished on July 22, 2016. Updated December 17, 2019
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith seem to have it all: successful careers, a family, a business, and a foundation. The couple have been together for over 20 years and are still going strong. Unlike many Hollywood relationships that fall apart, Will and Jada are committed to working on their marriage, even when things get tough. We’ve rounded up 10 things you might not know about the blissful couple!
10. How They Met
Will met Jada in 1994 when she auditioned to play his girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Although Jada didn’t get the part because the casting director thought she was too short, she and Will became friends. Will once revealed in an interview that he and Jada connected intellectually, but that she didn’t get his sense of humor for a long time. After a while, Jada changed her mind about Will. “After we had known each other for many years, we went out for dinner one night with mutual friends and I saw that he had grown from this lanky kid to this really responsible man,” Jada said in an interview. “We started courting each other and our friendship turned into romance.”
9. Jada Thought She’d Stay Single
In 2016, Jada spoke candidly about how she envisioned her life prior to marrying Will. “I never thought about being married or having a family. I didn’t know anything about that because I came from a single mom so I always though I’d be a single mom and have a career,” the actress admitted. “Then I found this beautiful man, Will. I got married to him and I got my bonus son Trey and then I got Jaden and I got Willow and I was able to create, for myself, something I never had—which means family.”
Will and Jada tied the knot on December 31, 1997 at a secret New Year’s Eve wedding at Cloisters Mansion in Baltimore, Maryland. Jada was pregnant with their son Jaden when she married Will. She wore a Badgley Mischka gown made out of champagne-colored silk and velvet. Around 100 family and friends were in attendance for the ceremony.
Will and Jada have 2 children together – their son Jaden, born in 1998, and daughter Willow, born in 2000. When Will honored Jada at VH1’s Dear Mama event, he didn’t shy away from talking about how they had conceived their children. After watching a tribute that the kids had made to their mother, Will said, “Just watching [that video] with the kids, it just takes me back to when we made them. Can’t help but think about that. It’s just amazing. It’s like you take Jada Pinkett Smith and an obscure town in Mexico and some tequila and you end up with great kids!”
6. Blended Families
In recent years, Jada penned an open letter to a friend on Facebook who struggled with managing a blended family. Jada’s no stranger to having a blended family, as before she and Will got together, he had a son with his ex-wife Sheree Fletcher. In the letter Jada wrote, “When I married Will, I knew Trey was part of the package…Period! If I didn’t want that…I needed to marry someone else. Then I learned if I am going to love Trey…I had to learn to love the most important person in the world to him…his mother. And the two of us may not have always LIKED each other… but we have learned to LOVE each other.”
5. Executive Producers
Will and Jada are more than just marriage partners – they’re also business partners! Will and Jada own the entertainment company Overbrook Entertainment, named for the neighborhood in West Philadelphia where Will grew up. The company produced several of Will’s films including I, Robot, The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, and The Karate Kid. Will and Jada were also the executive producers of Queen Latifah’s talk show in 2013.
4. Open Relationship
Over the years, Will and Jada’s marriage has been a popular subject in the tabloids, which report on their alleged extramarital affairs and impending divorce. The couple’s comments only seem to fuel the rumors and leave people wondering how they manage to keep their long-lasting marriage together. In 2013, Jada’s comments sparked talk about whether or not the couple had an open relationship. She told HuffPost Live, “I’ve always told Will, ‘You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be OK.’ Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I’m here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that’s not for me to do for him. Or vice versa.” Similarly, Smith garnered attention for his interview with the Daily Mail in 2005, where he stated, “Our perspective is, you don’t avoid what’s natural. You’re going to be attracted to people. In our marriage vows, we didn’t say ‘forsaking all others.'” He added, “The vow that we made was that you will never hear that I did something after the fact. If it came down to it, then one can say to the other, ‘Look, I need to have sex with somebody. I’m not going to if you don’t approve of it – but please approve of it.'”
3. Cautious Couple
Regardless if the open marriage rumors are true, the couple works hard to keep their relationship solid. Worried they’ll become another doomed Hollywood couple, Smith said he and his wife spend time with couples whose relationships have fallen apart. In doing this, they hope to understand what went wrong between them, and what could have been done to prevent the split. “Every time somebody in Hollywood breaks up, Jada and I go and find out why,” Will said in an interview. “With Bruce and Demi, we spent hours talking to them. And Tom and Nicole – hours, just trying to understand what happened.” Their method seems to work, as the 2 of them have successfully managed their careers while keeping their marriage strong.
2. Secret To Marriage
The couple has another secret to keeping a healthy marriage: never giving up. In 2015, Smith told ET, “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.” He also said that they work on themselves for the sake of their marriage. “If there is a secret I would say is that we never went into working in our relationship,” the actor added. “We only ever worked on ourselves individually, and then presented ourselves to one another better than we were previously.”
In addition to managing their careers, family, and entertainment company, Will and Jada are also active in charity work. They established the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation in 1996, located in Baltimore, Maryland. The organization helps fund charitable organizations in the areas of education, health, community development, and the arts. Some of the groups they support are Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish, American Film Institute, and Maternity Care Coalition.