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Will Smith explains why he’ll always ‘show up’ for Jada Pinkett Smith in surprise appearance

Will Smith surprised a crowd of attendees at an event tied to Jada Pinkett Smith’s memoir release in her hometown.
/ Source: TODAY

Will Smith is diffusing the complicated reactions to bombshell revelations about his marriage with Jada Pinkett Smith that she revealed in her new memoir, "Worthy."

In the lead-up to the release of the book, Pinkett Smith disclosed in an NBC News exclusive with TODAY's Hoda Kotb that she and Smith, who wed in 1997, have been separated for seven years and do not currently live together.

Smith on Oct. 18 attended an event tied to Pinkett Smith's book as a surprise to the audience at Enoch Pratt Library in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Their kids, Jaden and Willow, and Smith's son Trey were also in the house and surprised the crowd.

In video from the event shared with, Smith and Pinkett Smith are seen standing arm-in-arm on stage as he appears to pose questions to the audience about the extent to which they can love someone.

"Can you love somebody forever no matter what?" he asks, to applause. Smith then quips that he saw a person in the audience whose face indicated that it was a high bar to reach.

"Can you show up and love somebody for the rest of your life even when you don’t agree with them?" Smith asks.

Smith then indicates that this position is what he's taken with Pinkett Smith.

"Jada is the best friend I have ever had on this planet, and I am going to show up for her and support her for the rest of my life," he says.

Their separation news had shocked fans who may have once considered Smith and Pinkett Smith couple goals — if J. Cole's famous lyric about wanting, "That Jada and that Will love," is any indication.

Pinkett Smith said on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna Oct. 17 that it's "OK" if fans "feel betrayed" by learning the truth about her marriage.

“They can feel betrayed and that’s OK because life is messy and so is marriage and, unfortunately, it’s not anybody’s business what’s going on in the most inner sanctum of our house,” she told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, adding, “We can’t live for other people.”

The day before, on Oct. 16, she told Hoda in a live appearance on TODAY why she's publicly sharing the details of her relationship.

“I think at some point I had to talk about my journey,” Smith said. “I think there’s so many of us who hold so much, specifically women, and feeling like we’re going to be criticized, we’re going to be judged, you can’t say anything.”