Relationships are all about give and take, but that doesn’t mean it’s always an equal split. Sometimes one person pours more into the partnership than the other and that can totally be OK. But in the matter of potential breakups, it’s also telling who is more motivated to work on the relationship than the other — and we’re learning more about that in the case of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s relationship.
A new People report quotes a source telling the outlet that during the couple’s separation in and around 2015, Smith felt “more of the pressure” to fix their relationship. But the source seemed sympathetic to the struggles that both stars were facing: “They’re two different people trying to make it, and on top of it there’s this huge spotlight on them. People are always going to grow and change, but most don’t have the world watching their every move while they do that,” they said.
To say that the whole world is watching would be an understatement. Last week, Will and Jada came together for a record-breaking episode of Red Table Talk, during which she opened up about beginning an “entanglement” with their son Jaden’s friend, August Alsina. The Girls Trip star was separated from her husband at the time, and there were plenty of rumors flying that they might formally divorce. “We decided that we were going to separate for a period of time,” Pinkett Smith recounted during their conversation. “I really felt like at that point in time we could be over.”
So how did Alsina fit in? Around the same time, the actor “started a friendship with August,” she explained to catch viewers up to the backstory of their relationship. “We actually became really, really good friends. It all started with him just needing some help, me wanting to help his health, his mental state.” Eventually, it led to the infamous “entanglement,” or as Pinkett Smith eventually conceded after prodding from her husband, a relationship.
That isn’t to say that Smith was necessarily pulling his full weight in keeping their relationship together, however. During the episode’s premiere, fans on Twitter immediately began speculating that the Suicide Squad star might have had his own affair, potentially with costar Margot Robbie. (Neither actor has commented publicly on the rumors.)
As for why it took so long for the Smiths to air their personal business to the broader public, well, that’s between them, and they are by no means obligated to share every detail of their personal lives with fans. But in an exclusive interview with SheKnows, costar and friend Vivica A. Fox wasn’t surprised by the couple’s reticence to tell all, saying, “They’ve always had a very guarded image, to be very honest. You know, Will Smith is a megastar…I think that they’ve always put on the face of like, we’re happy, we’re good, that ‘Will and Jada love’. Well, guess what? That ‘Will and Jada love’ also ran into a little stumbling block.”
And yet, “Will and Jada love” seems to be the exact thing that pulled the couple through. “One thing I’ll say about you and I, is that there have never been any secrets,” she told her husband during their now-iconic conversation. “Any relationship, in trying to get to a deeper understanding of love, is going to be forged in the fire.”
Before you go, check out these celebrity couples who stayed together after cheating scandals: