Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith almost didn’t happen.
In fact, the day former co-star Alfonso Ribiero, best known as Carlton, set up for Will to meet Jada, he actually ended up meeting his first wife, Sharee.
Will explain on his wife’s Facebook show, Red Table Talk:
“I sat down in the audience, and the taping started, and then [Alfonso] was like, ‘Yo, that’s my boy that knows [Jada].’ He sat down, and I was like, ‘Yo, who is that girl he is with?’ The dude that was going to introduce me to Jada was with another girl, and I was like, ‘Who is that?’ And it was Sheree. I went to ‘Different World’ to meet Jada and met Sheree and ended up marrying Sheree and having Trey with Sheree.”
The now-husband and wife talked about all the near misses they had in their lifetime before eventually ending up with each other.
Jada also vehemently denied ever having an affair with Will while he was still married to Sheree. In fact, Will never wanted to divorce Sheree because he never wanted to be divorced period.
However, it was Sheree who filed to end their marriage.
Will then talked about the time he finally realized he wasn’t with the woman he was meant to be with and broke down in tears while on a date with Sheree. However, divorce still wasn’t an option for him:
“I would have stayed with her forever, I would have never gotten a divorce. […] I was never getting divorced. I don’t get divorced.”
Eventually, it was Sheree who would file for divorce, and the day Will signed the papers, he called Jada. The two of them have been together ever since.
Jada went on to say that their love story is a prime example of how “everything happens for a reason.”
The couple later credited their nearly 22-year marriage to their communication skills, saying for nearly 20 years they never used profanity toward each other or even raised their voices at one another.
“We couldn’t afford to, we just couldn’t. It could get ugly. We wouldn’t have been able to nurture, kindness, love…”
However, the couple was quick to admit that while everything always looked good on the outside, their relationship did go through some dark moments.
That’s when Will brought up “the worst I ever felt in our marriage.” The actor talked about a roughly 45-day period when Jada woke up every morning and cried:
“I was failing miserably. But on the outside winning. I built the house and called the house her lake. And during that time, I remember saying, ‘I built this house for you.’ I called it her lake. And she said, ‘You built this house for you.’ It was devastating for me to accept that I built the house for me. In my mind, I was saying I was building it for her. […] What I realized was that I was building a picture.”
Will believed that professional success and money, along with a big house, meant that he was succeeding in their relationship, but he later realized that wasn’t the case.
And Jada also felt ungrateful at times, questioning herself as to why she was so unhappy when she had everything, including a beautiful home, husband, and family.
But the truth was Jada had given everything up to care for their children and to fit the mold of the life Will wanted while Will didn’t have to change anything.
Jada admitted to letting fear, fear of rocking the boat and speaking her mind, get in the way of their happiness together.
It eventually got to the point where Will and Jada broke up but never got divorced.
You can watch the full episode of Red Table Talk below: