Oprah got Will Smith to open up about his unconventional marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith recently, answering some questions fans have had for years.
In the latest episode of her AppleTV+ series, The Oprah Conversation, Winfrey sat down with Will Smith to discuss the most compelling parts of his upcoming memoir. Of course, his marriage was a big topic of discussion, with Oprah pointing to a paragraph in which Smith addressed his separation from Jada.
Though Smith and his wife confirmed their temporary split in previous interviews, Oprah explained there were still many questions surrounding the separation, like how long it really lasted. According to Will, he and Jada never “officially” split, but said their relationship took a drastic turn following an argument during Jada’s 40th birthday.
“We realized that it was a fantasy illusion that we could make each other happy,” the actor explained. “We agreed that she had to make herself happy and I had to make myself happy. Then we were going to present ourselves back to the relationship already happy — versus demanding that the other person fill our empty cup.”
He continued, “We just decided, ‘You have to figure out how to be happy. Go figure out if you can be happy and prove to me it’s even possible. I’m gonna do me and you do you.’”
Smith also touched on Jada’s “entanglement” with artist August Alsina in his self-titled memoir, writing: “Our time apart helped us both to discover the power of loving in freedom. We’re simultaneously, 100 percent bound together and 100 percent free. We agree that we were both imperfect people doing our best to how to figure out how to be in this world joyfully.”
During their interview, Winfrey questioned Smith about the phrase “loving in freedom,” asking if it meant he and Jada had agreed to an open relationship. He didn’t provide a direct answer, but he chose to define what he meant by “loving in freedom,” saying it wasn’t strictly about sex.
“You love in freedom with everybody except your partner,” he said. “It’s friendship versus marital prison … So we talk about everything. I think the difficulty that people have and difficulty in discussing it is people only think in terms of sex.”
Smith also admitted his wife never wanted a “traditional” marriage, but suggested their relationship wasn’t as unconventional as some made it out to be.
“Even the idea where people are trying to put something on it: ‘Will and Jada – what they doing with other people?’ Will and Jada ain’t really doing too much of nothin’,” he insisted. “Will and Jada are on a spiritual journey to cleanse the poisonous, unloving parts of our hearts. And we’re doing it together in this lifetime no matter what. But the goal is not a sexual goal, everybody,” he added. “We are going to love each other no matter what.”
You can watch Oprah’s interview with Will Smith on AppleTV+. His memoir comes out on November 9.