In a new interview with the Daily Mail’s, YOU Magazine, Jada Pinkett Smith explained that Will’s decision to slap Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards has earned a new title for her: The “holy slap.”
“I nearly didn’t even attend the Oscars that year, but I’m glad I did,” Jada told the outlet. “I call it the ‘holy slap’ now because so many positive things came after it.”
According to Jada, the Oscars controversy in which the Fresh Prince alum, 55, slapped Rock after he made a joke about the actress’ appearance during the ceremony made an impact on their marriage.
“That moment of the s— hitting the fan is when you see where you really are,” said Jada, who previously revealed that she and Will had been separated for seven years. “After all those years trying to figure out if I would leave Will’s side, it took that slap for me to see I will never leave him,” she said.
Jada added: “Who knows where our relationship would be if that hadn’t happened?”
Speaking with PEOPLE in October for the release of her memoir, Worthy, Jada shared that she initially thought the Academy Awards moment was “a skit.”
“Like many people watching the incident unfold on live TV, I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’ It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit,” she said. The first words she uttered to Will once they were alone after the show were “Are you okay? I’m going to be by his side,” she added, “but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself.”
At the 94th 2022 Oscars, the “Bad Boys” actor walked on stage and struck Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
At the time, Rock compared her shaved head, which is a result of her alopecia diagnosis, to Demi Moore in the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.
Following the controversial incident, Smith was banned from attending the Academy events for 10 years.
The famous couple has been married since 1997, but while promoting her book “Worthy” in October, the “Red Table Talk” host admitted that the two have been separated since 2016.
“By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying,” she explained to NBC’s Hoda Kotb. “I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”
Despite all the drama, Pinkett Smith went on to tell the Daily Mail that the moment “shit [hit] the fan” ultimately helped bring the two closer together.
“Who knows where our relationship would be if [the slap] hadn’t happened?” she said.