Jada Pinkett Smith: I thought Oscars slap was a skit

Jada Pinkett Smith (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Jada Pinkett Smith has said she thought “This is a skit”, when her husband Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars ceremony.

The actress also revealed she and Smith had been separated for six years at the time of the incident.

Smith, who was nominated for the best actor prize and went on to win, took the stage and slapped the comedian, who was hosting the ceremony, after he made a joke about his wife’s hair-loss.

The 94th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith after his Oscar win (Doug Peters/PA)

Pinkett Smith, who was seated next to Smith in the front row, told People magazine: “I thought, ‘This is a skit’.

“I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.

“It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realised it wasn’t a skit.”

She added that the first words she uttered to husband once they were alone after the show were “Are you OK?”

The marriage between Smith and Pinkett Smith has long been the subject of much speculation and the actress told the magazine: “We’re still figuring it out.

She said they had been separated for six years before the Oscars in 2022, adding: “We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together.

“We just got deep love for each other and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us.”

Pinkett Smith has previously denied the couple have an open relationship and speculation about the state of their marriage reached fever pitch in 2020, when the 52-year-old actress revealed she had had an “entanglement” with singer August Alsina, 31.

She also claimed during the course of the People interview that Rock had asked her on a date.

Pinkett Smith said: “I think every summer all the reports would come out that me and Will were getting a divorce and this particular summer, Chris, he thought that we were getting a divorce.

“So, he called me and basically he was like, ‘I’d love to take you out’. And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ He was like, ‘Well, aren’t you and Will getting a divorce?’ I was like, ‘No. Chris, those are just rumours’. He was appalled. And he profusely apologised and that was that.”

Pinkett Smith also addressed her mental health struggles, saying: “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 Graham Norton Show
Chris Rock was slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars. (Isabel Infantes/PA)

She added: “While I was really living the dream, I hit a huge wall — a massive amount of depression.

“I think that I looked at having outside sources to supplement for the voids that I was feeling inside.”

She said the “voices” were incoming. “‘Just kill yourself. You’re not worth anything, you ain’t s***.

“I started looking for places, cliffs where I could have an accident, because I didn’t want my kids to think that their mother had committed suicide.”

She said she found relief in the form of ayahuasca ceremonies, where a leader supplies a plant-based psychedelic drug, usually brewed into a tea to drink, and guides the subject through hallucinations.

She said: “Ayahuasca helped me, it gave me a new intimate relationship with myself that I had never had before”, adding that the first time she took the drug, “the suicidal thoughts completely went away”.

Rock’s representative has been asked for a response.