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Jada Pinkett Smith reveals chequered history with Chris Rock

Jada Pinkett Smith has revealed Chris Rock once asked her out on a date when he thought she was divorcing Will Smith – who later infamously slapped the comedian at the Oscars.

In interviews to promote her upcoming memoir Worthy, Pinkett Smith shared some startling details, including that she and Smith had been separated since 2016.

In an interview with People, she spoke about her relationship with comedian Rock, touching on their interactions before the notorious slap at the Oscars.

I think every summer all the reports would come out that me and Will were getting a divorce. And this particular summer, Chris, he thought that we were getting a divorce,” she said on Thursday (AEDT).

“He called me and basically he was like, ‘I’d love to take you out’. And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’. He was like, ‘Well, aren’t you and Will getting a divorce?’.

“I was like, ‘No. Chris, those are just rumours’. He was appalled. And he profusely apologised and that was that.”

It’s not clear when Rock asked Pinkett Smith out and his camp has not commented publicly on her claim.

Pictured is Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

Will Smith’s Oscar-stopping moment with Chris Rock.

A misunderstanding

In the interview with People, Pinkett Smith said there had been something of a “misunderstanding” between her and Rock, dating back to 2016.

Will Smith missed out on an Oscar nomination in 2016 for his lead role in Concussion, and she suggested there should be a boycott over the lack of diversity.

“At the Oscars … people of colour are always welcomed to give out awards … even entertain,” Pinkett Smith wrote on Twitter at the time.

“But we are rarely recognised for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of colour refrain from participating all together? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment.”

Rock was hosting that year and he also acknowledged the lack of diversity. However, Pinkett Smith said she might have accidentally offended him.

She said she perhaps didn’t appreciate the pressure Rock was under. At the awards, Rock joked about Pinkett Smith in his monologue.

In his 2023 Netflix special, Rock alleged that Pinkett Smith told him he should have “quit” his hosting gig due to Smith’s snub.

Pinkett Smith said she thought the two had moved on from that, but she admitted she should have called to check on him.

She told People that when the 2022 Oscars rolled around, she thought the hatchet had been buried. Then came the joke about her being bald, and Smith marching on stage to slap Rock in retaliation.

Rock did try to apologise after the incident, which Pinkett Smith said she thought was all part of a skit. But she told him she couldn’t talk about it at the time.

Jada and Will split

Perhaps the biggest bombshell to come out of the recent interviews was that Pinkett Smith and Smith have been separated since 2016.

According to Pinkett Smith, the former couple has a pact to not get a divorce, but do live separate lives.

“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce,” she told NBC’s Today.

“We will work through whatever. And I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”

Speaking to People, Pinkett Smith said the confusion around whether she and Smith were together was likely the reason people believed they were in an open relationship.

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