Jada Pinkett Smith on the ‘Lesson’ She Learned After Tupac Shakur’s Death

Jada Pinkett Smith suffered a devastating loss when her close friend Tupac Shakur was killed. From the tragedy, however, she learned a huge lesson about putting aside differences.

Jada Pinkett Smith attends the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards
Jada Pinkett Smith | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac Shakur had a close friendship

During a 2015 interview on the Howard Stern Show, Pinkett Smith shared how she and the late rapper first struck up a friendship. “I met Tupac at Baltimore School For The Arts. We went to high school together,” she explained. “He was a revolutionary without a revolution if that makes any kind of sense. And that kind of energy just transferred to a whole other thing.”

The two were close but never romantically linked, though Pinkett Smith did say they kissed each other to see what would happen.

“It’s so funny, because now being older, I have more of an understanding of what that was between us because, you know when you have two young people who have very strong feelings, but there’s NO physical chemistry between us at all,” Pinkett Smith noted.

She continued, “And it wasn’t even just for me! It was him too. There was a time when I was like, ‘Just kiss me, Let’s just see how this goes. And when I tell you, it had to be the most disgusting kiss for us both.”

“The only way I can put it is, the higher power just did not want that. Because I feel as though, if Pac and I had any kind of sexual chemistry, we might’ve killed each other because we were both so passionate,” she added. “And you know, we love deeply. It was hard enough just with us being friends. We had a very volatile relationship.”

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Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac had a ‘hardcore disagreement’

Unfortunately the two friends found themselves not seeing eye to eye, which Pinkett Smith said wasn’t out of the ordinary for them.

“There were a lot of things that transpired once he went to jail,” she said. “It was really once he came out that he changed quite a bit, which is understandable. Jail was a very difficult experience for him. And, of course, we were on two sides of the spectrum.”

“Pac and I have always had very intense conversations, arguments. And if we disagree with each other, we disagree hardcore. And we had a very hardcore disagreement,” she explained.

Pinkett Smith said she was concerned about “the direction that he was taking.” In hindsight, however, she did understand his point of view. “I totally understand where Pac was, because at that particular point in time, that mentality was part of his survival … [but] it was a mentality that he started to come out of before he was murdered,” she explained.

Pinkett Smith said she learned a big lesson from the tragedy

The two stopped speaking for years and the rapper was murdered in 1996. When asked if she felt guilt about them falling out, she explained, “You know, I don’t think I was guilty as much as I felt, just sadness for not having the opportunity to tell him that I loved him.”

“But I know he knew that because it wasn’t the first time that we had had a bad argument and had stopped speaking and all that,” the actor shared. “That was kind of a constant in our relationship. So I didn’t really look at it as a reason to feel guilty.”

As devasting as the loss was for her, Pinkett Smith said the situation “definitely taught me a lesson, which is, life is too short.” She added, “Do not let disagreements stand in between you and people that you love and care about.”

When Stern pointed out how emotional the actor had become, she told him, “Yeah, you know, I love him.”