She candidly recalled that it was her mother who forced her and Smith to get married after they became pregnant with their first son together.
Even as the shock of Will Smith's controversial slap at the Oscars and the Academy's decision to ban him from the ceremony for 10 years continue to echo across Hollywood, a recently resurfaced clip from Jada Pinkett Smith's much-talked-about Red Table Talk is making the rounds of the internet. In the freshly exhumed snippet from a 2018 episode of the Facebook series, the 50-year-old confessed that she "really didn't want to get married" to Smith. According to New York Post, the "Matrix" actress even went as far as to reveal that she cried all the way "down the freaking aisle" before tying the knot with the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star on New Year's Eve in 1997.
"I was under so much pressure, you know, being a young actress, being young, and I was just, like, pregnant and I just didn't know what to do," Pinkett Smith declared in the episode. "I never wanted to be married." She candidly recalled that it was her mother, 68-year-old Adrienne Banfield-Norris—also known as "Gammy"—who forced her and Smith to get married after they became pregnant with their first son together, Jaden, who is now 23. "I really didn't wanna get married," Pinkett Smith restated while seated around the circular table with her mom, Smith, and their daughter Willow.
"We only got married because Gammy was crying," a chuckling Smith informed his daughter. "It was almost as if Gammy was like, 'You have to get married, so let's talk about the wedding,'" Pinkett Smith chimed in, prompting Banfield-Norris to confess that she remembers "feeling very strongly and wanting you guys to be married." Gammy herself was just 18-years-old when she became pregnant with Pinkett Smith, and briefly married her father, Robsol Pinkett Jr. "I do remember [wanting you and Will to get married] but I don't remember your rejection of the idea of marriage," Banfield-Norris added. "I remember the rejection of the idea of a wedding but not of a marriage."
Pinkett Smith then spoke about being browbeaten into going through with a big wedding bash. "And now Gammy done gone to Will, crying about 'I don't want a wedding,' and now I'm being forced to have a wedding," she said. "I just wanted it to be the two of us on a mountain because I was like: 'This is serious business.'" The couple eventually tied the knot at the Gothic-style Cloisters Castle in a suburb of her hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. However, despite their picturesque venue, Pinkett Smith and her mom both acknowledged that it was less than stellar.
"The wedding was horrible," Banfield-Norris conceded. "It was a mess. Jada was sick, she was very unpleasant... She didn't cooperate with anything." A laughing Pinkett Smith agreed, saying: "And I was so upset that I had to have a wedding. I was so pissed I went crying down the freaking aisle. I cried the whole way down the aisle." On the other hand, Smith was reportedly overjoyed on their wedding day. "There wasn't a day in my life that I wanted anything other than being married and having a family," he said during the episode. "From literally 5 years old, I was picturing what my family would be."
Despite Pinkett Smith's visceral aversion to their nuptials, she and Smith ultimately agreed that getting hitched was, in fact, "the right call." Banfield-Norris also apologized for failing to respect her daughter's protest about a wedding and for being "selfish" by insisting on a lavish ceremony since Pinkett Smith is her only child.