Jada Pinkett Smith is coming clean about singer August Alsina's claims that the pair had an affair.
During a candid episode of her Facebook Watch show "Red Table Talk" — featuring a surprise appearance from husband Will Smith — the "Girls Trip" star, 48, revealed that her friendship with Alsina, 27, developed into a romance while she and Smith, 51, were briefly separated.
"About four and a half years ago ... I started a friendship with August. We actually became really, really good friends," said the actress. "It all started with him just needing some help, you know? Me wanting to help his health, his mental state."
"You and I were going through a very difficult time," she added to her husband.
"I was done with your ass," joked Smith, laughing.
"Yeah, you kicked me to the curb," responded the actress.
The couple — who tied the knot in 1997 and share two kids, Jaden, 22, and Willow, 19 —revealed that they decided to separate as each figured out what they needed to make themselves happy. Smith remembered feeling at the time that "we definitely could be over" forever.
"I was in a lot of pain. I was broken," recalled his wife.
During the couple's split, Pinkett Smith said, she "got into a different kind of entanglement" with Alsina.
"A relationship," her husband clarified.
When Alsina revealed the affair during an appearance on "The Breakfast Club" last month, he said Smith gave him and Pinkett Smith his "blessing." Pinkett Smith rejected the "Numb" singer's claim, saying she didn't need "permission" to be with him because she and Smith had broken up. Alsina, she reasoned, was likely trying to make it clear that he's not a "homewrecker."
During her romance with Alsina, the "Bad Moms" star gradually realized that she was trying to "fix" his problems rather than her own. She began to confront her own "emotional immaturity" and do "some really deep healing."
Over time, she also realized she wanted to be with her husband again. When she told Alsina so, he broke off communication with her, and they haven't spoken since.
Pinkett Smith and Smith agree their separation made them stronger — both as individuals and as a couple. "We came together young and we were both broken in our own ways," said Smith. "To be able to make mistakes without the fear of losing your family is so critical."
Through their pain, the couple arrived at a "place of unconditional love," said Pinkett Smith.
The couple agreed their personal life was no one else's business. But the rumors and the news reports were getting out of hand. They decided to address the story together, said Smith, "because it got to the point where you've got to say something."
Plus, Pinkett Smith added, people's feelings are involved. "At the end of the day, I don't like how all of this came to be. But that doesn't matter. It's all love," she said.
The actress hoped the couple's willingness to be "transparent" would help everyone involved to feel better about the situation. "It's healing that needs to happen," she said.