Jada Pinkett Smith 'Had to Learn How to Woman Up' with Will's Ex: 'I Did a Lot of Work on Myself'

Jada Pinkett Smith still had some growing up to do when she married Will Smith at the age of 26.

Following the first episode of her new Facebook show Red Table Talk, the actress, 46, went live on the series show page and opened up about how coparenting with Smith’s ex-wife Sheree Fletcher helped her become a better person.

“I did a lot of work on myself,” she admitted to Fletcher, who joined her for the Facebook Live conversation. “And I must say this relationship between you and I was one of the fundamental relationships where I had to learn how to woman up.”

“You were so young too when you got into this,” Fletcher replied.

“We all were,” Pinkett Smith answered. “I was younger than Trey,” she said, referring to Fletcher’s now 25-year-old son with Smith.

“It was not easy at first, that’s for sure,” Pinkett Smith added of coparenting Trey.

(L-R) Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Sheree Fletcher.
(L-R) Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Sheree Fletcher.

Fletcher noted that while things weren’t easy, she knew Pinkett Smith always wanted the best for the kids – even if she was a little more gung-ho about starting a blended family than Fletcher was at the time.

“That is annoying,” Pinkett Smith joked about her own enthusiasm. “I got to keep it real, that is annoying.”

“We have to understand that we do have boundaries and lanes,” Jackson said. “Sometimes it was too much and I thought Jada needed to fall back. But I also saw your heart in it. You weren’t trying to take my place … You meant well.”

Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith and Trey Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith and Trey Smith

Further complicating Pinkett Smith and Fletcher’s relationship early on was, as the actress revealed on the show’s premiere episode, she and Smith started dating before his divorce with Fletcher was finalized.

Pinkett Smith said it took time for her to realize that Fletcher would always be a part of Smith’s life. “When you have a child, when you create life with someone, there’s always going to be a bond there. Period,” she said. “I’m not talking about a romantic bond. But there’s going to be a bond there, and that’s just real.”

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Getting to where they are now was “a process,” she added. “We had a lot of family meetings. We did a lot of things together. Even if we weren’t both there mentally, we had the same intention and the same need for harmony. Coming from the families we came from and the traumas we had, we wanted the kids to be good. All three of us wanted that. We all had that intention.”

Fletcher agreed, “It kept us in line and really focused on our goal.”

“For me, I had to think about who I wanted to be as a woman,” Pinkett Smith continued. “Not what you and Will were doing. But who am I in this? So I had to focus on me.”

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The women also took questions from fans online, including one viewer who asked how they managed their two different parenting styles. Fletcher began her answer with a funny anecdote from Jaden’s childhood:

“Jaden was not allowed to eat pork,” she explained. “And he happened to come over to [my] house on a holiday, and I had a big ole pig butt — that’s really what ham is, it’s a pig butt. This baby tore into that ham. It was a honey baked ham. He tore into that ham and I didn’t realize it until after the fact. And he was like, “ReRe that meat is good, can I have more meat. I said, ‘Oh my God I’m in so much trouble.’ ”

So when Jaden asked again what kind of meat he had eaten, Fletcher told a white lie, “It’s duck! You had duck!”

“I remember that!” Pinkett Smith said laughing. “I can’t remember how I found out. But you know what, those are things you have to put aside. You have to get to a place where you can let certain things go.”

Fletcher agreed, but added, “It’s also about honor, though. Because had I known, I wouldn’t have given Jaden the — duck.”

The next episode of Red Table Talk hits Facebook Watch Monday.

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