BALTIMORE (AP) - Will Smith joined Jada Pinkett Smith on stage as she promoted her new memoir in her Baltimore hometown Wednesday night, pledging lifelong support for her just a week after she revealed that the couple had been separated since 2016.
"Jada is the best friend I have ever had on this planet, and I am going to show up for her and support her for the rest of my life," he told the crowd at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, crediting Pinkett Smith’s sacrifices for his successes, news outlets reported.
Smith’s appearance with their two children, Jaden and Willow, and his son Trey Smith, was apparently a surprise for Pinkett Smith. It came at the end of a talk about her book, "Worthy." Pinkett Smith said the family, including her aunt and uncle and Will Smith’s mother and sister, was in town to celebrate the 70th birthday of her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, on Wednesday.
Smith called their relationship "brutiful," explaining that it was both brutal and beautiful.
"It is a sloppy public experiment in unconditional love," he said, a description that prompted Pinkett Smith to double over in laughter.
Pinkett Smith told The Baltimore Sun that their estrangement was in the past and that she and Smith have been working in the last 18 months to repair their relationship.
"Will and me are good," Pinkett Smith told Laura Coates of CNN, who moderated Wednesday night’s discussion. "All the people who don’t understand and got something to say are just going to have to fall in line.
"The truth of the matter is I’m not leaving Will’s side and he’s not going to leave mine. We’ve been on a powerful quest. And I’m happier than I’ve ever been," she added.
The book by the actor, who first revealed the bombshell news of their separation to NBC’s Hoda Kotb, details their marriage, her Hollywood journey, her unconventional parenting style and gives her perspective of Smith infamously slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony over a joke about her shaved head (Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 that she had a form of alopecia).
Pinkett Smith told The Associated Press that she is feeling free since opening up about the separation.
"It’s a weight off my shoulders, honestly," Pinkett Smith said in an AP interview this week. "Ever since the Oscars, it’s so interesting how such an intense event can bring you closer together, and I would say that after that, we really dove in and dug in and got to this beautiful place we are now."