Will Smith Isn’t the First Serious Relationship Jada Pinkett Smith Brought Home for the Holidays
The Emmy-winning web series Red Table Talk has led to a lot of important discussions revolving around Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, their family, their marriage, and everything that came before. One such revelation is who Pinkett Smith dated in the early 1990s. The two were serious enough, she brought her former love interest home for the holidays.
Jada Pinkett Smith had a life before Will Smith
Sure, Pinkett Smith has sustained her longtime relationship and marriage to Will Smith since their first (brief) meeting in 1997, but reports of other “entanglements” may have come before.
In various Red Table Talk episodes, Pinkett Smith has opened the door to her past, revealing other love interests — even in recent months and years with R&B singer August Alsina.
Long before any of that, Pinkett Smith reportedly had a relationship with rapper Tupac Shakur. The two met at Baltimore School for the Arts in the mid-1980s. While neither ever confirmed they were dating, they remained close until Tupac’s death in 1996.
Another rumored relationship came in the early 1990s, with actor Wesley Snipes. Neither Pinkett Smith nor Snipes confirmed anything more than friendship. That aside, Pinkett Smith’s dating history is a little blurry, according to Will’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Alfonso Ribeiro.
“I actually think I dated Alfonso,” Pinkett Smith said via Today. “I think we went on one date together. My memory is … I dated a lot of people, but we went on one date.”
Ribeiro clarified on Twitter saying, “Sorry Jada. Your memory is a little off. We went to lunch with your family when we both guest-starred on A Different World the year before you became a regular.”
Regardless, when Pinkett Smith starred on A Different World — she was linked to another big name.
Pinkett Smith brought an NBA player home for the holidays
The 1990s were prime for some of the NBA’s most iconic players to make a name for themselves. Just ask Pinkett Smith. In a 2018 episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith revealed that she dated former NBA star, Grant Hill.
Pinkett Smith and the Duke University athlete dated for two years.
“He was the first boyfriend I brought home for the holidays,” she said on the show via Essence. She added that he’s now “happily married” to wife Tamia.
“Happy holidays! Yes, happy holidays to that beautiful couple,” she said.
Adrienne Banfield-Norris (Pinkett Smith’s mother and co-host) added, “Yes and they have a beautiful family.”
Hill and Pinkett Smith moved on
Many know that Pinkett Smith married Will in 1997 and that they share two children together — Willow and Jaden. Will also has a son, Trey, from his first marriage to Sheree Zampino Fletcher.
“I had a realization I wasn’t with the person I was supposed to be with,” Smith said via Oprah Magazine. “I was sitting in a stall and I was crying and laughing uncontrollably, and I knew [Jada] was the woman I was supposed to be with, but I was never getting divorced…I went back out, sat down with Sheree and started going back on with my life.”
Fletcher eventually ended things and Will and Pinkett Smith have been together ever since. Grant had a similar timeline, though he’s only been married to Tamia and credits his parents — who have been married for 40 years — for giving him the example to live by
About a year after Pinkett Smith and Hill split, he met his wife of over 20 years, Tamia. The two have two daughters together, Myla Grace (2002) and Lael Rose (2007).
A few years after saying “I do,” Tamia discovered she had Multiple Sclerosis, which affects the brain and spinal cord. Likewise, Tamia was there for the NBA star throughout his basketball career that included injuries and a life-threatening staph infection.
“When we first started seeing each other that first two or three months, I kind of knew that this was the one,” Hill said via Essence.
While it’s unclear why Hill and Pinkett Smith broke up, both moved on to long-lasting relationships.