Jada Pinkett Smith Dated ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) Before She Dated Will Smith

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith made headlines recently because of her “entanglement” (relationship) with August Alsina. However, this wasn’t the first time The Matrix star dated one of Will’s friends. Before she met her husband, she dated The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro).

Alfonso Ribeiro, Angela Unkrich, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith
Alfonso Ribeiro, Angela Unkrich, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

How did Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith meet?

Although the couple met on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will tried to meet Jada much earlier than that. 

“I went to Different World to meet Jada and met Sheree and ended up marrying Sheree and having Trey with Sheree,” Smith explained on the Facebook Watch Red Table Talk. “I didn’t meet Jada that day … we had all these near misses.”

So instead of meeting Jada, Will met his first wife, Sheree Zampino. 

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith | Charles W. Bush/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images

RELATED: Jada Pinkett Smith Regrets the Way She Co-Parented Trey Smith — ‘I Probably Should Have Fell Back’

“The first time I met you was at the Fresh Prince when I came to audition,” Jada recalls on another Red Table Talk. “I think I was 19. They told me I was too short.” 

Will describes the spark he felt when he met Jada, “Every time we saw each other, we always had a beautiful energy.”

However, he was married, so he never acted on his feelings for Jada until he was divorced.

Jada Pinkett Smith recalls going on one date with Alfonso Ribeiro

When Jada Pinkett Smith brought her husband Will to his first Red Table Talk, the two discussed how they met. Will recalls seeing Jada on the TV show A Different World. He believes he knew by looking at her that their relationship could be “exponential.” So, he asked his friend, Alfonso Ribeiro, about her.

“I actually think I dated Alfonso,” Jada admits to Will. “I think I went on one date together with him.”

'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' stars Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ stars Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks | Jan Sonnenmair/NBCU Photo Bank

RELATED: Will Smith Just Took Fans Back to the ’90s With His Carlton Instagram Photo

Will agrees that the two dated before he met Jada.

“He took you on a motorcycle or something,” Will says.

The two move on to talk about how they ended up meeting. However, after that Red Table Talk aired, Ribeiro had something to say about it.

Alfonso Ribeiro recalls his date with Jada differently than she does

“Sorry, Jada. Your memory is a little off,” Ribeiro replied to Jada’s clip from the Red Table Talk. “We went to lunch with your family when we both guest-starred on A Different World the year before you became a regular.”

The stories don’t mesh up, but Jada later gave a little more insight about the “date.”

“I tell you, it was literally one date!” Jada told Entertainment Tonight. “We went out one time! And I remember saying to myself, ‘Ooh my goodness I’m going out with a guy from Silver SpoonsFresh Prince wasn’t even out yet!”

She swears it was a date, and not only lunch with their families. Jada had a good time, but it didn’t progress to a second date.

“I just remember him being cheerful and fun,” she continued. “And it was simple. I think we just went out to get something to eat? At that point, I was living in LA I [hadn’t] done Different World yet. Alfonso is probably like, ‘Did we go out?'”