Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been married since 1997, and together they have two children – Jaden, and Willow. We all know this; they’re the celebrity couple in Hollywood that always seems so in love and in tune. Even if they don’t have the most traditional marriage, they’ve come up together in a very real way.
But did you know that Jada grew up with the late rapper Tupac Shakur, and the two had a close and very intimate (though never romantic) relationship? Well, when Will and Jada got together, Will says that he “couldn’t handle” their friendship, and the way he tells it, it almost destroyed their young love.
Where would Hollywood be if Will and Jada never stayed together?!
A little history to set the stage: Jada was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, while Tupac’s family moved him there from New York in 1984. After he completed his second year at the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Tupac transferred to the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied acting, Ballet, Poetry, and Jazz.
This is where he met Jada, who was also going to that same school.
In an interview she did a few years ago, Jada admitted that she was a drug dealer when she met Tupac, but as she was “getting out” of the life, Tupac was stepping into it and getting more serious.
She feels that God saved her from that life, and she always said she kept waiting for Tupac to feel the same, but it never happened.
The two stayed close throughout their life, though at one point Jada said she had to walk away from Pac after his lifestyle got too dangerous. She claims that she was a real grounding force for the artist, and he could be awful when that was threatened.
As a side note, in the documentary Tupac: Resurrection, he says that “Jada is my heart. She will be my friend for my whole life.” He wrote a poem titled “Jada” in his book, The Rose That Grew from Concrete, and the poem “The Tears in Cupid’s Eyes” is also supposed to be about her.
When Smith was on his press tour with Martin Lawrence for the 400th Bad Boys movie, Bad Boys For Life, and was asked if he had ever been jealous of Jada’s relationship with Pac. The answer surprised everyone in the room.
“Oh f*** yeah. Oh my God. That was in the early days and it was like, that was a big regret for me, too, because I could never open up to interact with Pac.”
Can you imagine having the chance to be in Pac’s inner circle back in the day, and letting your jealousy cloud over your judgment?!
“You know, they grew up together and they loved each other but they never had a sexual relationship, but they had come into that age where it was a possibility and then Jada was with me,” Smith explained.
“Pac had a little thing on that but she just loved him, like he was the image of perfection, but she was with the Fresh Prince, you know? So, I never could, we were in the room together a couple of times, I couldn’t speak to him, and he wasn’t going to speak to me if I wasn’t going to speak to him.”
“And I just never… that was a huge regret of mine, I couldn’t handle it.”
It’s nice that Will admits it now, saying that he “wasn’t man enough” to handle the relationship with Pac properly. In 1996, a year before Jada and Will married, Tupac was shot and killed.