A mainstay of the entertainment industry for decades, Jada Pinkett-Smith has now firmly established her empire as a multi-hyphenate jane-of-all-trades who isn’t afraid to branch out as both an artist and an executive. From flaunting her talents on the big screen and behind the mic to letting it all out in the boardroom as a HBIC businesswoman, the motivated 47-year-old has undoubtedly perfected the art of securing the bag multiple revenue streams. Her latest venture, Red Table Talk, a web-TV talk show broadcast courtesy of Facebook Watch highlights Smith’s natural charisma and sincerity as she tackles tough issues while fielding input from her own mother and daughter. Flanked by the multi-generational perspective of Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Smith unflinchingly delves into candidly unpacking tough issues like sex, addiction, loss, scandal and past traumas.
Committed to bringing her quest for self-love to as many individuals as she can, Smith is open about her motivation for starting the emotional series.
“I guess at this point in my life, I’ve really been doing a lot of interior work,” says Pinkett-Smith of the origin point for Red Table Talk. “And I just realized that in part of my growth, the women and the people who had the courage to be very transparent with me with certain aspects of their journey really, really helped my journey tremendously. I was like: Why don’t we talk about this more often? Why is it such a secret of what people go through?”
“And so I was like: I really want to create conversation where people don’t have to feel like they’re alone,” Smith continued. “And whatever pieces individuals can take with them to make whatever changes they might feel is necessary for more happiness, more joy, more peace — I want to be part of that journey.”
Check out the very best episodes of the web series below to see just how raw, unfiltered and honest Smith and her co-hosts were willing to be in search of the truth.
Willow Smith’s History Of Self-Harm
Willow Smith – Edward Berthelot/Getty Images for Christian Dior
In only the second episode of the show’s instantly-popular run, Willow Smith dropped a bombshell on her mother by coming clear about a shocking secret she’s kept close to her chest for years– she used to, at one time, engage in self-harm as a way to numb her emotional pain. Just 17-years old at the time, Willow explained that she had no way of coping with the viral success of her 2010 hit “Whip My Hair,” as her mother and grandmother looked on with rapt attention.
“I would have to say—honestly, I feel like I lost my sanity at one point,” Willow said. “It was after that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing, and I had just stopped doing singing lessons and I was kind of like, just in this gray area of, ‘Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything, like, I can do besides this?’ After the tour and the promotion and all of that, they wanted me to finish my album,” she continued. “And I was like—I’m not gonna do that. And after all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull, I was just listening to a lot of dark music, and it was just so crazy and I was just like plunged into this black hole, and I was, like, cutting myself.”
Stunned by her daughter’s admission, a solemn Pinkett-Smith then admitted that her daughter’s experience with self-harm went completely over her head.
“I never talk about it because it was such a short, weird point in my life, but you have to pull yourself … out of it,” Willow explained. “I honestly felt like I as experiencing so much emotional pain, but my physical circumstances weren’t reflecting that.”
Surrounded by the trappings of wealth and fortune while nurturing a budding music career on the side, Willow Smith bucked all preconceived notions most individuals hold about the top 1%. Everyone needs to take care of their mental health, an issue made plainly clear by Willow’s shocking admission.
Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Foray in Self-Pleasuring
Jada Pinkett-Smith – Sonia Recchia/Getty Images
While most don’t view masturbation as a family affair, for Jada Pinkett-Smith, getting a head start on tackling the importance of self-love was just another part of her childhood. In an admission that no doubt bucks the societal classification of masturbation as a private act to be finished in the seclusion of the bedroom, Smith revealed that it was her grandmother that taught her how to pleasure herself at the tender young age of nine.
“My grandmother taught me about self-pleasuring because she wanted me to know that that pleasure was from me,” said Smith. “She didn’t want me to fall into the hands of a man, and if he gave me pleasure, to think that that was him. And she taught me at nine!”
Later in the sex-centered episode, Pinkett-Smith revealed that her head-start in the self-love department evolved into an addiction to bringing herself to the brink, over and over again.
“I actually think I went through kind of an addiction, too, with it,” she explained. “And then one day, I was just like, ‘Enough. You’re having five orgasms a day.’ You get addicted ‘cause you can create so much pleasure. You just constantly want it.”
While some may have had a hard time wrapping their head around why a mother would want to share such intimate details about her sex life with her daughter present, Smith didn’t hesitate about why she reserved Willow a seat at the table.
“People are like, ‘oh do you think that’s appropriate for Willow?’ I’m like, ‘Hell, yeah, that’s appropriate for Willow.’ Is it life?” argued Smith. “If I have to sit up here and tell her that she has to be careful in these streets because of all the harms that may come to her because she’s a young woman, I’m damn sure not leaving out the good stuff.”
Jada And Will Smith’s First Wife Sit Down For A Heart-To-Heart
Trey Smith and Sheree Zampino – Enos Solomon/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Divorce is always messy, and unfortunately, not even celebrities are exempt from that emotional baggage. In the show’s premiere episode, Jada Pinkett-Smith sat down with husband Will Smith’s first wife, Sheree Zampino to finally clear the air about their long and complicated history with one another. While Smith was keen on clarifying that she and husband Will did not have an affair while he was married to Zampino, there’s no denying that she was romantically linked to the star immediately following his separation and subsequent divorce from his first wife. Looking back on that time now, Smith confessed that she should have stepped back and let the dust settle between her husband and his former wife, especially considering the fact that the two shared a child together.
“The beginning between us was rough,” said Smith. “Here’s the one thing I will say in hindsight, because I did not understand marriage, I didn’t understand divorce. I will say that I probably should’ve fell back. I would’ve fell back because I feel like when Will and I first started dating, you know, I had this thing in my mind, I was like, ‘Oh OK, well you did that and that’s done.'”
Understandably, Zampino tensed at Smith’s admission that the signing of the divorce papers marked the end of her involvement in her son’s father’s life, according to Jada.
“That part, see that’s where I was wrong,” she continued. “Now, being a married woman, and if Will and I were to get divorced now, my God!”
Jordyn Woods’ Tristan Thompson Tell-All
Jordyn Woods – Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images
Jordyn Woods’ post-scandal appearance at Smith’s now-infamous red table is no doubt the most highly-publicized episode of the series. Straight after the fallout of her alleged tryst with Khloe Kardashian’s baby daddy Tristan Thompson, Woods put on a brave face and used the platform to tell her side of the story. Freshly booted from Kylie Jenner’s guest house, a somber Woods leveled with a family she’s been close with since childhood to explain that she’s far from the home wrecker that the media has painted her as.
“I told them I was there,” Woods told Smith, explaining that she was open with the Kardashian-Jenner clan about her appearance at the house party. “I had talked to Khloe and she asked me what was going on, is everything fine. And in my head of trying to forget that part of the story, I was just like, ‘You know, no, he was chilling, everything was OK.’ Like, there were girls there but he wasn’t all over the girls.'”
“I was honest about being there, but I wasn’t honest about the actions that had taken place,” Woods admitted, completely glossing over the fact that Thompson kissed her after she had spent the entire night in his home.
“The last thing I wanted to do was be that person,” said Woods, moved to tears by her own admission. “I’m no homewrecker, I would never try to hurt someone’s home, especially someone that I love and someone who has a beautiful daughter. I never would try to steal someone’s man, I don’t need your situation. I really just hurt so many more people by not telling the truth.”
“I know I’m not the reason that Tristan and Khloe are not together,” Woods continued. “This situation may have made it harder for her to want to be with him, and I understand that. But I know I’m not the reason.”
Unsurprisingly, Kardashian didn’t agree with Woods on that fact.
Ayesha Curry And Male Attention
Ayesha Curry – Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Alongside Steph Curry’s mom, Sonya Curry; his sister, Sydel Curry-Lee; and Callie Rivers, Steph’s brother Seth Curry’s fiancé, Ayesha Curry appeared for a recent episode of Red Table Talk and stirred up some controversy with her remarks. Explaining what it’s like to be married to an NBA superstar, Curry revealed that she, at times, longs for outside male attention.
“Something that really bothers me, and honestly has given me a sense of a little bit of an insecurity, is the fact that yeah, there are all these women, like, throwing themselves [at him], but me, like, the past 10 years, I don’t have any of that,” she admitted. “I have zero — this sounds weird — but, like, male attention, and so then I begin to internalize it, and I’m like, ‘Is something wrong with me?'”
While critics were quick to slam Ayesha’s claim and reduced it to little more than a “whine” for attention, Steph Curry was quick to defend his woman against her detractors.
“Proud of you for being authentic and Putting yourself out there – not being afraid of potential bull s#*# and nonsense that could and did come at you,” read text over a photo of the happily married couple. “Way more positive than negative with all of this. Keep being you. I love you.”