Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Relationship Timeline

“We ride together, we die together—bad marriage for life!”

Will and Jada

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Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are one of the most fascinating couples in Hollywood. Not only are they masters at their craft, but they also have a beautiful family that includes: Jaden, Willow, and Will’s son from a previous marriage, Willard “Trey” Smith III. 

The talented family once kept their world very private, piquing the interests of their fans and other alike, but recently they have pulled back the curtains on their family dynamics to share with the world what really goes on in the Smith household. From shining together in the spotlight to getting caught up in "entanglements," the couple continues to be “life partners” that will forever be connected spiritually, emotionally, and lovingly. Read on for a full timeline of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's relationship.

  • The couple met on the set of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1990.
  • The Smiths wed in 1997 after a few years of dating.
  • They welcomed son Jaden shortly thereafter in 1997 and daughter Willow in 2000.
  • The couple famously discussed their marriage ups and downs on Jada's Red Table Talk in 2020.

1990: First Looks

Will and Jada first met on the set of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when she auditioned for her role on the famed show. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the part. “The first time I met you was at the Fresh Prince audition. I think I was 19, and they [producers] told me I was too short,” the 49-year-old mother recalled on an episode of her Facebook series, Red Table Talk.

Will went on to reveal how he missed his opportunity to connect with Jada. “I saw this girl on A Different World and her name is Jada,” the 51-year-old recalled telling his TV-show cousin, Alphonso Riberio. “I walked in and sat down in the audience at A Different World and the taping started.” 

Will then explained that he noticed Sheree Fletcher Zampino, who later became his wife. “So I went to A Different World to meet Jada and met Sheree,” he explains. Jada may not have been his princess at the time, but she later became his queen.

Will Smith and family

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December 31, 1997: Getting Married 

After dating for a few years, Jada—wearing a champagne-colored velvet gown by Badgley Mischka—walked down the aisle to tie the know with her soon-to-be husband, Willard Smith, who was dressed in a dapper white tux. 

Despite the lovely nuptials, Jada revealed that she never wanted to get married. “I was under so much pressure being a young actress and pregnant, and I didn’t know what to do,” she explained in the same episode. She also mentioned that she was in her first trimester carrying Jaden, and she was not feeling well during the lavish event. “I was so upset that I had to have a wedding. I was so pissed.”

July 8, 1998: Jaden Syre Smith Is Born

Jada gave birth to her first child, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, who is now 22. 

“After my first trimester… being pregnant with you were some of the happiest moments of my life,” Pinkett Smith wrote in a Facebook video for her first child’s 21st birthday. “You were a tangible joy. When you were born, you became my first experience of tangible love. You have taught me so much about love and kindness. You have been a powerful teacher in my life. I feel so blessed you chose me to be your mom. Happy 21st to one of my dearest treasures. I love you Jaden.”

Jaden quickly proved that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when he showed off his acting skills in Pursuit of Happyness (2006), The Karate Kid (2010), and The Get Down (2016). He’s even pursued a music career like his father and recently dropped his latest single, Bye, released from his 2021 fourth album that has yet to be titled.

October 31, 2000: Willow Smith Makes Her Grand Debut

In October of 2000, the couple welcomed to the world their only girl, who they named Willow Camille Reign Smith. 

In an episode of Red Table Talk, Will opened up about his close relationship with his daughter. "Willow's the only female relationship I've ever had that I didn't mess up," the star shared. "I'm sure there are aspects from Willow's point of view [where] she would say, 'No, you messed some stuff up, dad,' but in my mind, I did right by her." 

Willow, 20, shares the gift for music with the rest of her family. The RTT co-host recently released her latest single, Transparent Soul, from her soon-to-be-released album, Lately, I Feel Everything

June 28, 2005: Hosting The 5th Annual BET Awards 

Hollywood’s royal couple made a grand entrance as they entered the award show on horse and carriage. The pair’s chemistry has a unique way of making married life look joyful and exciting. 

April 3, 2013: An Open Marriage

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Jada did a sit-down interview on Huffington Live, where viewers read into the comments that she made, assuming that she and Will were in an open marriage. “I’ve always told Will, ‘You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay,’” she told the host, Marc Lamont Hill. “Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I’m here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that’s not for me to do for him. Or vice versa.” 

Jade later clarified her statement in an open letter posted on her Facebook. “Here is how I will change my statement...Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship... this means we have a GROWN one.”

2016: The Entanglement

In a one-on-one conversation with Will, Jada brought herself to the “Red Table” in 2020 to candidly discuss details about their brief marital separation, which ultimately lead to her decision to date R&B singer, August Alsina in 2016. "I just wanted to feel good, it had been so long since I felt good," she told viewers."And it was really a joy to just help heal someone. I think that has a lot to do with my co-dependency."

During the lengthy sit-down, Will assured his wife that he will love her through everything. In unison, the couple shared their marriage motto, “We ride together, we die together—bad marriage for life!”

September 25, 2019: Checking Things Off the Bucketlist

For Will’s 50th birthday, he wanted to do one thing: take his family skydiving in Dubai. The family all took a leap of faith, which was captured on Will’s Facebook Watch series, Will Smith’s Bucketlist. 

When Jada landed safely on the ground, the family gave her a group hug as her playful husband inquired, “Are we still together?”

Jada, of course, walked away smiling. 

April 29, 2020: “I Don’t Know Will At All”

During a RTT discussion titled, “How Your Relationship Can Survive Quarantine," Pinkett Smith candidly shared, "I have to be honest. I think one of the things that I’ve realized is that I don’t know Will at all." 

Pinkett Smith further explained that they were learning to be friends during the pandemic. "You get into all these ideas of what intimate relationships are supposed to look like, what marriages are supposed to be." 

She added, "Will and I are in the process of him taking the time to learn to love himself, me taking the time to learn to love myself, right, and us building a friendship along the way."

June 20, 2021: Celebrating Father’s Day

Jada posted a heartwarming Father’s Day message to her life partner. “Happy Father’s Day Willard. Thank you for being a wonderful Dad❣️.”

This multi-talented couple is proof that every relationship has its ups and downs, but a long-last marriage is one built on mutual trust, understanding, and joy. Here's to many more years of happiness for Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

March 27, 2022: The Talk of the Oscars

Will and Jada

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The internet was buzzing after the 94th Academy Awards all thanks to this couple—and it wasn’t just because of their killer outfits. Things took a turn at the Oscars when Will slapped Chris Rock. After the comedian made a joke about Jada looking like G.I. Jane 2, referencing the actress’s bald head due to alopecia, Will lashed out. As he returned to his seat, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth,” all of which was censored. Later, the actor won an Oscar for best actor in a leading role, and during his acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy for his altercation. 

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