Inside Will Smith & Jada's controversial marriage, where 'strong feelings' about infidelity may resurface, says expert | The Sun

WILL Smith might feel uncomfortable in the "open marriage" he claims to share with Jada Pinkett-Smith, a psychologist has said.

But as the couple's 25-year union returned to the spotlight amid Chris Rock’s Netflix quips, and a year on from that Oscar slap, she thinks they could make it work.

In recent years Will Smith, 54, and Jada Pinkett-Smith, 51, have talked freely about the shape and health of their unusual and at times turbulent marriage.

From becoming "life partners" to embracing an "open marriage" and not forgetting Jada's "golden cage," since 2020 the Hollywood couple has shown the world how they enjoy a unique formula for marital bliss.

Previously, Will and Jada spent years sternly shutting down speculation of indiscretions, divorce, and even swinging, with Jada once referring to their union as a "grown relationship."

But when the Facebook Watch co-host — who was 44 at the time — became “entangled” with singer Alsina August, then 23, after meeting him via their son Jaden in 2015, the couple's public communication stance switched.

Previously, Jada had launched the discussion show on Facebook Watch, which she was hosting alongside her mom and daughter, Willow, now 22.

Will had come to the table for the first time in 2018 but appeared again alongside Jada in July 2020.

This was for the episode titled "Jada Brings Herself to the Table," when the couple openly discussed her "entanglement".

And when the mom of two admitted publicly for the first time to some sort of marital transgression.

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In an exclusive interview, Dr. Danielle McGraw told The U.S. Sun: “Forgiveness is not a linear process.

"And while Will could have forgiven Jada, there may be times when strong feelings about what happened may resurface.

"Although it's often difficult to recover from infidelity, it's always possible with the right kind of counseling and commitment.

“We can’t qualify if Will and Jada are a success or a failure, since what some people see as success in a relationship, others may see as failure.

“This is really about Will and Jada’s perspective of their own relationship.

“In Jada’s Red Table Talk session, you can see Will’s discomfort in talking about a very sensitive and deeply personal topic on a public platform.

“Even if he'd fully forgiven her and worked through it, it’s still hard to talk about in this type of setting.

“People can absolutely recover from infidelity in relationships, but it’s challenging.”


It was 1994 when the pair met on the set of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as Jada auditioned for the part of his girlfriend.

And while she wasn't successful in bagging the gig, her friendship with Will blossomed.

At the time, the Pursuit of Happiness star was married to Sheree Zampano, but after they split up, Will and Jada started dating.

“I don’t believe that Will and Jada dating prior to his divorce being finalized had a big impact on their relationship," reveals Dr. McGraw.

“Often, celebrity divorces take years to finalize.

"The legal side happens well after the relationship has ended people have moved on.”


Jada was already three months pregnant when she married Will in December 1997 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Their son Jaden, now 24, arrived in 1998, followed by daughter Willow in 2000.

In fact, during another of Jada's first Red Table Talk episodes in 2018, she said of the wedding: "I cried all night long because I was pregnant, my life was never going to be the same."

She also admitted: "I didn't want to get married."


By 2013, the couple’s reps were denying rumors that Jada was cheating on Will with singer Marc Anthony.

Around the same time, speculation surrounding their open marriage saw its beginnings in Hollywood.

But its origins lay in Jada's comments about her husband.

She had said in an interview: "I've always told Will, 'You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay'."

Jada then spoke out to quash the open marriage rumors in a Facebook post: “Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want because we TRUST each other to do so,” she wrote.

“This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one."

“Jada makes a lot of valid points of what a healthy relationship is and trust is a primary component of a healthy relationship," explains Dr. McGraw.

“She describes a lot of characteristics of a healthy relationship, such as two independent people who are responsible for themselves, that act out of respect for one another and not forcing.”


In 2015, Will attempted to put any divorce rumors to bed.

That year it was his turn on Facebook where wrote: “Jada and I are…NOT GETTING A DIVORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I promise you all — if I ever decide to divorce my Queen — I SWEAR I’ll tell you myself!”

Three years later, Will spoke in an interview on Rap Radar and confirmed he believed the couple are "life partners."

He also addressed the complexity of relationships and marriages.

“The idea that after 17 years they barely know each other yet is such a great statement," reveals Dr. McGraw.

“The biggest issue encountered in couples counseling when people have been married for decades is that they feel they are married to a stranger.

"This happens because they stop getting to know each other.

"Will’s comments in the 2018 interview, in a way, address this idea and recognize they each person is an ever-changing individual.

"He's talking about relationships consisting of two evolving individuals who must continue to get to know each other throughout the decades."


Jada’s Red Table Talks discussions in 2019 continued to see the actress boost the concept of her ‘‘life partnership'’ with her husband.

At the time, the Scream 2 actress said: “It gives us the freedom to create a different context for ourselves, to not have to live up to the expectation of what people consider marriage to be."

But rumors of infidelity during their marriage reared their head once again, with a friend of Jaden saying he'd had an affair with Jada in 2016.

After the couple's reps denied she'd been seeing August Alsina, Will and Jada finally discussed her “entanglement” together on the Facebook Watch episode in 2020.

And during the Red Table Talk, Jada admitted while she was separated from Will at the time, they were still married.

“It's during this interview that you can see that it’s impossible to know if he has truly forgiven her," adds Dr. McGraw.

“Forgiveness is such a complex topic,” she adds.


Will went on to speak about his new-look marriage to Jada in a GQ magazine interview in 2021.

This came ahead of his self-titled memoir release that November.

“Marriage for us can’t be a prison," he said.

“And I don’t suggest our road for anybody… But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”

“As long as non-monogamy is consensual and ethical, it can absolutely work," explains Dr. McGraw.

“It’s hard to know why it happened after this much time, or if that has been their arrangement for a long time.

“Society has still not accepted this and definitely did not accept it 10 years ago when there was initially speculation that they were in an open relationship.

“If they were, it would make sense why they would have denied it 10 years ago, to avoid the judgment and criticism.”


At the 2022 Oscars, Will and Jada rocked up together looking united on the red carpet.

But the night deteriorated quickly when host Chris Rock made a joke about Jada which preceded the infamous slap from Will.

Following the incident, Will made a public apology to Chris via an Instagram post.

At the time he wrote: "I was out of line and I was wrong," before adding: "I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be."

"There's also a history of Chris Rock making unkind jokes at their expense, which probably contributed to the level of emotions Will was feeling that night," adds Dr. McGraw.

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"And it makes sense that, after all they've been through together, he'd want to protect her feelings

"But Will slapping Chris in 2022 was not the right way to handle it."

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