Jada Pinkett Smith Admitted to a Relationship With August Alsina, Said She Didn't Cheat

Bianca Piazza - Author

Oct. 17 2023, Updated 1:36 p.m. ET

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards.
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • During a July 2020 Red Table Talk episode, Jada Pinkett Smith confirmed she was in a relationship with August Alsina.
  • At the time of her "entanglement" with August, Jada says that she wasn't together with Will Smith.
  • In October 2023, Jada publicly admitted that she and Will have been separated since 2016, and that she didn't cheat on him with August.
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The Smith family isn't too concerned with privacy, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith in particular. From spilling family drama to opening up about masturbating five times a day (get it, girl!), Jada unearths a lot on Facebook Watch's now canceled show, Red Table Talk, which explores complex and sensitive issues through the lenses of three generations of women. And on said show, there has been a lot of talk about Jada and Will's relationship, which we're now learning ended in 2016.

Back in 2020, rapper August Alsina felt he had to get something off his chest, and boy did he. After he publicly admitted to having a romantic relationship with Jada, who had been married to the Fresh Prince star since 1997, the internet was ablaze with articles about the love triangle, many of which called Jada a cheater. But was that really the case? Here's what Will had to say and what we now know about their marriage.

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Jada and Will Smith attending an event together.
Source: Getty Images

Did Jada Pinkett Smith have an affair with August Alsina? She says no.

Let's set the record straight — it technically wasn't an affair, as Will gave his blessing for rapper August Alsina to pursue a relationship with his wife of more than 20 years. Wait, what? A rep for Jada was so quick to deny these claims made by August that we're sure they had to catch their breath. However, his claims were true.

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On a July 2020 episode of Red Table Talk, while Willow Smith and the family matriarch, Adrienne Banfield Norris, were absent, Will joined his wife to discuss the ins and outs of the story. With a hint of sourness in his voice, Will asked, "So, what happened, Jada?" She went on to explain that it started out as a friendship in 2015, a friendship that became intense quickly.

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"It all started with him just needing some help. Me wanting to help his health, his mental state," she said about their relationship. August has been very open about suffering from a hereditary auto-immune disease. She then labeled her connection to August "an entanglement," which understandably had Will wishing for her to rephrase. “Yes, it was a relationship. Absolutely," she clarified. "Now, in the process of that relationship, I definitely realize that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself."

Their relationship bloomed while Jada and Will's relationship wilted, Jada saying they "basically broke up." That episode of Red Table Talk was a doozy, and the internet couldn't get enough of Will's Eeyore-looking face. It obviously became a meme. Well, Will spoke to GQ about his life, relationship, and of course, the Sad Will Smith meme.

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Jada Pinkett Smith and August Alsina at the 2017 BET Awards
Source: Getty Images

In 2021, Will Smith discussed his open marriage with Jada Pinkett Smith.

Regarding the meme, Will explained that the internet took it the wrong way. “It was midnight and we were going on vacation the next day,” he told GQ's Wesley Lowery. “It was like, no, no, no, guys, I’m not sad. I’m f--king exhausted.” In fact, the internet took a lot of things the wrong way, as Will relayed that he also had his fair share of sexual relationships outside the marriage, but this was their mutual agreement. Welcome to the world of open relationships, newcomers.

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"Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship. So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up," he stated. "There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection? What is the perfect way to interact as a couple? And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose."

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He explained how things eventually changed, specifically saying that "marriage for us can't be a prison." He clarified that he wouldn't recommend their relationship style to anyone. Aside from their highly publicized open marriage, Will admitted to having thoughts about infidelity early in his marriage to Jada, which is something he felt shameful for. At one point, all he could think about was having a "harem of girlfriends."

Specifically, the stunning talents Halle Berry and Misty Copeland took up space in his mind. Will has been working with intimacy coach Michaela Boehm for years, who has helped him process his fantasies and shame, ultimately leading him to realize what he really wants out of his love life.

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After processing the idea of having 20 girlfriends with Michaela, Will came to his senses. "That would be horrific. That would be horrific." Well, now we know a lot more about the actor! We also know that Will and Jada haven't been an "item" since 2016, hence, their marriage was more over than it was open.

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In October 2023, Jada Pinkett Smith admitted that she and Will "separated" in 2016.

During an October 2023 interview with Today Show host Hoda Kotb, Jada confirmed that she and Will have been over since 2016. Although they kept up the perfect couple appearance in public, they were ultimately living separate lives. Jada says many factors led to the fracture of her relationship and that by 2016, the two were "both exhausted with trying." She added, "I think we were both kind of still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be."

Jada says she was never able to bring herself to formally file for divorce and it's not yet clear if the two will go through with one now that the cat's out of the bag.

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