Jada Pinkett Smith opens up about how the crowd reacted to her after her estranged husband Will Smith punched Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards.
In an interview with People shared on Thursday, Jada said: ‘It was ridiculous how far it went.’
The 52-year-old actress turned talk show host – who this week admitted she had been separated from her husband Will for as long as seven years – said her previous admission in 2020 that she was in a “relationship” with August Alsina led people to falsely accuse her of cheating.
That alleged misconception then made her an easy target for blame for the shocking onstage blowout, which was preceded by a joke Chris made about her buzzed-in hairstyle, in response to her hair loss caused by alopecia.
‘But I also understood it at the same time. Given the false narrative that I had cheated on Will or that I was an adulteress, Will had never done that before,” Jada said of the reactions to herself and her husband.
Opening: Jada Pinkett Smith, 52, has shared her response to being blamed for her husband Will Smith hitting Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars; seen in March 2022 in Hollywood
Disinformation? Jada claimed the blame went too far, saying she was wrongly called an “adulteress” because she admitted to having a relationship while she and Will were divorced; Will and Chris Rock seen at the 2022 Oscars
“I think if we just look at human nature… if you look at the breadcrumbs, people need something to be blamed for,” she continued.
“And because people didn’t know what was happening behind the scenes, I certainly wasn’t surprised that I was blamed,” Jada added. “But I understood that that’s just the human nature of it all.”
Will has been on the same page as his wife since his violent outburst on live television, and he is adamant that she shares no blame for his actions.
He was even more explicit in a video from July 2022, several months after the controversial ceremony, in which he stated that she didn’t tell him to do anything about Chris’ joke.
‘It’s like… I made a choice based on my own experiences, my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it,” he stated. “I’m sorry, honey. I would like to apologize to my children and my family for the heat I have caused us all.”
Jada first confessed her flirtation with August Alsina, a singer 21 years her junior, during a blockbuster episode of her Red Table Talk series, in which her husband was her guest.
During the conversation, she made the shocking admission that she had been in a relationship with August, although she claimed it did not count as an ‘affair’.
However, she also claimed that Will never gave his blessings for the relationship as the couple was divorced at the time.
Taking the blame: “And because people didn’t know what was happening behind the scenes, I certainly wasn’t surprised that I was being blamed,” Jada mused. “But I understood that that’s just the human nature of it all.”
His fault: Will clarified after the fact that Jada was not responsible for the punch, and he said that she did not ask him to do anything about Chris’s joke about her shaved head being a response to hair loss due to alopecia; seen at the 2022 Oscars
August himself claimed that the Men In Black star had approved of the relationship, which Jada claimed was false.
In her People interview, Jada claimed that she was so surprised when Will took the stage at the Oscars to punch Chris that she assumed it was a skit they had planned in advance and kept secret for maximum shock value.
It was only when she could see her husband’s face afterwards that she realized there was nothing funny about the blow.
“I thought, ‘There’s no way Will is going to hit him,'” she said. “It wasn’t until Will started walking back to his seat that I realized it wasn’t a skit.”
She added that her first words to Will after the show were, “Are you okay?”
Jada also spoke about her connection with Chris Rock within her People cover story.
The two had had tense interactions in the aftermath of the 2016 Academy Awards.
She had called for the show to be canceled in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, and in his Netflix comedy special from earlier this year, Chris claimed to his audience that Jada had urged him to leave the gig in solidarity with the protests about the Academy failed to nominate more Black artists and performers.
However, she now admits that at the time she “didn’t really realize the pressure (Chris) might be under.”
Cut: Jada said Chris tried to apologize to her after Will punched him at the Oscars, but she cut him off and hasn’t spoken to him since; seen at the 2016 Oscars
She added that his “feelings may have been hurt,” and she said she should have called him to clarify her feelings.
Jada said the comedian came to the audience to apologize to her shortly after the punch and the end of his awards ceremony, when she remembered him saying, “I meant you no harm.
But she said she responded, “I can’t talk about this right now, Chris. This is some old s***, and, confusingly, she claimed to have cut him off because she thought he was referencing the tensions with her and Will from the 2016 show, as well as unspecified issues he and her husband had when they went back. to the 1980s, instead of the blowout that occurred just minutes earlier and that viewers around the world had seen.
She added that she had not spoken to him since interrupting his apology at the 2022 Oscars.