Jada Pinkett Smith and Hollywood's Open Marriage Trend

In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Will Smith
    Will Smith
    American actor

If you were in a celebrity marriage, would you allow your husband to cheat?

Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about this very topic on Thursday when during an interview with HuffPo Live, she addressed longstanding rumors that she and her husband of 15 years Will Smith are allowed to sleep with other people. "I've always told Will, 'You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay," said Pinkett Smith. "Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I'm here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that's not for me to do for him. Or vice versa."

It's not the first time one half of the power couple as spoken out about their unconventional relationship. In 2008, Will Smith told British magazine Now, "Our perspective is, you don’t avoid what’s natural and you’re going to be attracted to people. If it came down to it, then one would say to the other: 'Look, I need to have sex with somebody. Now I’m not going to do it if you don’t approve of it.'"

Hollywood isn't exactly known for its successful marriage rates—seems like you can't walk by a newsstand without seeing headlines such as "$200 million dollar divorce!" or "Details of their shocking split"—but there are a handful of couples who do seem happily wed with one caveat: They're in open marriages. In 2010, comedian Mo'Nique told Barbara Walters that her husband Sidney Hicks is allowed to sleep with other people. "Could Sid have sex outside of his marriage with me? Yes. That's not a deal breaker. That's not something that would make us say, 'Pack your things and let's end the marriage.' What if it's 20 times? So what? We've been best friends for over 25 years, and we truly know who we are. Often times, people get into marriages and they don't know who they're laying next to. I'm very comfortable and secure with my husband."

Angelina Jolie and her maybe/maybe not husband Brad Pitt are rumored to have permission to see other people with Jolie once telling German magazine Das Neue that she didn't believe fidelity was "essential to a relationship."  And in 2012, reality star Bethenny Frankel announced on her talk show that she and now-soon-to-be ex-husband Jason Hoppy agreed to give each other a free pass if the other ever met their celebrity crushes (his, Angelina Jolie; hers Taylor Kitsch).

Is this arrangement crazy or realistic? Its no secret that people are becoming more wary of marriage as an institution. For starters, fewer people are getting hitched in the first place, with only 51 percent of adults married, compared with 72 percent in 1960, according to a recent study conducted by Pew Research Center. And on Thursday the CDC released data which found that couples are exchanging house keys at much higher rates than wedding vows and choosing to live together for much longer periods of time than ever before.

And that's just in real-people world—while there are no official stats on the divorce rate in Hollywood, it make sense that when you mix two gorgeous celebrities (who typically crave validation and attention), boatloads of cash and fame, sexual temptation is bound to occur. What's more, these people have more opportunity to stray than normal folks. Toss in screaming, obsessed fans who often go to great lengths to throw themselves at celebrities, bodyguards who can arrange discreet hook-ups at the drop of a non-disclosure agreement, and movie roles that require celebs to get naked with other gorgeous co-stars, it's a head-scratcher why the famous get married in the first place. For the ones that do, having an open marriage may simply be a logical lifestyle for two people who don't have much of a fighting chance of staying faithful in the first place. 

Sounds sensible, right? Well, this type of arrangement can get messy, even with the strictest of ground rules. A source told Radar Online that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher reportedly had an open marriage (“They would have threesomes. Demi liked women and Ashton would bring another woman into their relationship for flings, but they both agreed to it") however Moore was humiliated when Kutcher's fling with San Diego administrative assistant Sara Leal went public and she filed for divorce. And Pink and motocross star Carey Hart allegedly separated in 2007 because their reported "Don't ask, don't tell" policy caused too much tension in their marriage.

In the end, celebrity marriages will all play out differently regardless if monogamy is on the table. And we'll continue to be rapt audiences.