Putting the pieces back together. Will Smith and Jada Pickett Smith once hit rock bottom and “broke up” during their 20-year marriage, but according to the pair, divorce was never an option.
“I saw for the first time what Jada had been saying the whole time about hiding behind my ego, my dreams and my desires and pretending like it’s love. And I realized [Jada] wanted none of the stuff I had built,” the 50-year-old actor admitted during a Monday, October 29, appearance on his wife’s Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk. “The house was too big, there was always too many people here, she didn’t want to travel the way we traveled. She didn’t want all of her kids to be getting trolled on Twitter. She didn’t want any of that.”
Pickett Smith, 47, then weighed in: “And there was a decline from there.”
“To have to let go of the picture, to have to let go of the dream was devastating. We essentially had to destroy our marriage,” Smith explained.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
I just realized... This year we’ve been together more than HALF OUR LIVES! @jadapinkettsmith
Cast member Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith kiss at the premiere of "Focus" at the TCL Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California February 24, 2015. The movie opens in the U.S. on February 27. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Actor Will Smith and actress Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 47th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 5, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: Actors Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith attend the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 03: Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith attend Variety's Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors To Watch Brunch at the Parker Palm Springs on January 3, 2016 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images,)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: Actors Will Smith (L), Jada Pinkett Smith and Trey Smith (R) attend the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - DECEMBER 10: Actress Jada Pinkett Smith (L) and actor Will Smith attend the 2nd Annual Diamond Ball hosted by Rihanna and The Clara Lionel Foundation at The Barker Hanger on December 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Actress Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith attend the screening of Columbia Pictures' 'Concussion' on November 23, 2015 in Westwood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 19: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith attend Sony Music Latin's Official Latin Grammy After Party at XS nightclub at Encore Las Vegas on November 19, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sony Music Entertainment US Latin LLC)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 19: Jada Pinkett and Will Smith pose in the press room during the 16th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at the MGM Grand Arena on November 19, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 19: Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith pose backstage during the 16th Latin GRAMMY Awards on November 19, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
Actor Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith pose for photos after arriving to the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Adrees Latif (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-ARRIVALS)
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith arrive on the red carpet for the gala presentation of the film "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners" at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival, September 9, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Actor Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith attend the premiere of "The Karate Kid" at the Mann Village theatre in Los Angeles June 7, 2010. The movie opens in the U.S. on June 11. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
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Contrary to reports at the the time, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum and the Girls Trip star maintained that divorce was never on the table.
“I had never even seen a divorce lawyer! It never even crossed my mind,” Pinkett Smith said after her husband noted he was “reading in the tabloids that we were getting divorced.”
“Because I had been divorced before, I wasn’t getting divorced again. Divorce wasn’t an option,” Smith, who was married to Sheree Zampino from 1992 to 1995 added. “I was devastated even worse than a divorce. We broke up within our marriage and got back together again. We had to rebuild with new rules and something way, completely different.”
Smith and Pickett Smith, who tied the knot in 1997, are parents of son Jaden, 20, daughter Willow, 17. The Aladdin star also shares 25-year-old Trey with Zampino.