Will Smith made a surprise appearance at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore as part of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Worthy press tour, where he expressed support for her and their marriage following the memoir’s revelation that the duo split in 2016.
Smith appeared alongside several of Pinkett Smith’s family members, including her children Jaden and Willow, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and Smith’s son from his first marriage, Trey, during a talk back moderated by CNN’s Laura Coates, telling the crowd that his performance was about supporting his wife as she had done throughout his career.
“I just really wanted to come out and just be here and hold it for you like you held it for me,” he said Wednesday night while standing on stage, according to the Baltimore Sun. “We’ve had a very, very long and tumultuous (relationship). We call it ‘brutal’.
“It was cruel and beautiful at the same time,” he added.
The actor spoke about their long-term relationship – which saw divorce rumors swirl following the revelation that they had been living apart for years – following Pinkett Smith’s own clarification in an interview with the Today show that no divorce is happening and that the duo has “really worked hard to bring our relationship back together, back to a life partnership.”
Smith noted that his wife, fellow actor and now author, was behind all of his achievements professionally and personally, as she put her own ambitions on hold for his dreams, which were “built largely on the foundation of Jada’s sacrifices.” That includes developing a relationship with Trey’s mother and Smith’s ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, “so I could have all my kids with me.”
“We got together in our 20s,” he told the audience. “I had huge dreams about what I wanted to do in the world and in my life, and I was on fire with a vision. And as I stand before you today, I am happier than I have ever been in my life.”
The actor also addressed the backlash over an Instagram video in which he turned off his notifications amid the news cycle surrounding the revelation of Pinkett Smith’s divorce. According to Smith, he had been in Papua New Guinea for the past three weeks, assisting with biodiversity research, and was unaware of the divorce speculation before arriving in Sydney. His decision to turn off his phone – and all his notifications – was due to the fact that he had no internet connection Baltimore Sun reports.
“Our union is a messy experiment in unconditional love,” he told the crowd. “Jada is the best friend I have ever had on this planet, and I will stand up for her and support her for the rest of my life.”
During the conversation, Pinkett Smith once again shut down those divorce rumors, telling Coates, “Will and I are good.”
“All the people who don’t understand and have something to say will just have to stand in line.
“The truth is, I won’t leave Will’s side, and he won’t leave mine either. We have been on a vigorous search. And I am happier than ever.”