Jada Pinkett Smith and August Alsina's 'entanglement,' explained

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The word became synonymous with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith after their now-famous July 2020 “Red Table Talk” episode.

During their intimate sit-down, Pinkett Smith revealed that she had been in a relationship with singer August Alsina, now 31, during a time when she and Smith were separated.

In her new sit-down with TODAY’s Hoda Kotb, which aired on Oct. 13, Pinkett Smith shared more insight into her “entanglement” and how it wasn’t an affair.

Pinkett Smith shares that Smith, to whom she’s been married to since 1997, always knew about her relationship with Alsina. Further, she and Smith have been separated since 2016, and still are — another major revelation from the chat.

How did the August Alsina 'entanglement' story emerge?

Alsina revealed in a YouTube interview with Angela Lee in June 2020 that he and Pinkett Smith had been romantically involved. The pair met through her and Smith's son Jaden in 2015.

At the time, Alsina said that before he embarked on a friendship with Pinkett Smith, he spoke with Smith, saying, “He gave me his blessing.”

2017 BET Awards - Red Carpet (Paras Griffin / Getty Images)
2017 BET Awards - Red Carpet (Paras Griffin / Getty Images)

What did August Alsina say about Jada Pinkett Smith?

Alsina spoke about his relationship with Pinkett Smith fondly.

“I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really deeply love and have a ton of love for her,” Alsina said.

“I devoted myself to it, I gave my full self to it — so much so to the point that I can die right now and be OK with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody.”

He also touched on their breakup, without giving specifics. The singer said that he had “never been in love in that kind of way."

"So much so that being intertwined in that way — walking away from it butchered me. I’m shakin’ right now because it almost killed me. Not almost; It did. It pushed me into being another person, my newer self. It broke me down.”

Jada Pinkett Smith addressed August Alsina's comments on 'Red Table Talk' in 2020

Pinkett Smith would go on to address Alsina’s comments in a July 10, 2020 episode of “Red Table Talk” with Smith present. During their discussion, she revealed that her relationship with Alsina took place several years before.

“About four and a half years ago ... I started a friendship with August. We actually became really, really good friends,” she said. “It all started with him just needing some help, you know? Me wanting to help his health, his mental state.”

At that same time, Pinkett Smith said she and Smith were "going through a very difficult time."

“I was done with your ass,” joked Smith, laughing.

“Yeah, you kicked me to the curb,” she responded. “We broke up.”

The pair said they separated to figure out how they could make themselves happy. At this point in the conversation, Pinkett Smith shared that she “got into a different kind of entanglement with August.”

“A relationship,” Smith clarified.

Pinkett Smith replied that she sought a relationship with Alsina because she "wanted to feel good."

"It had been so long since I felt good," she said.

Pinkett Smith also made it clear that Smith didn’t give any “permission” to Alsina to pursue a relationship with her, expressing, the only person “that can give permission in that circumstance is myself.”

Pinkett Smith reflected on needing to confront her own “emotional immaturity” and “deep healing” before breaking things off with Alsina, who completely cut off communication with her. Smith also added that he knew about all of this for years.

Pinkett Smith said she and Smith had arrived at a place of "unconditional love."

But Smith wasn't sure they'd get there. “I wasn’t sure I was ever going to speak to you again. Like the fact that I’m speaking to you again is a miracle ... there's just certain things that you have to go through (in a marriage). I wish it could be all magic and miracles,” he said.

“We ride together, we die together,” the two said unanimously towards the end of their chat. “Bad marriage for life.”

Will Smith responded to people's entanglement jokes and 'Sad Will' memes

Shortly after the "Red Table Talk" episode aired, people began posting screenshots of Smith looking tired during his conversation with Pinkett Smith. The photo went on to fuel a "Sad Meme" meme phenomenon

Then, the word "entanglement" — much like Gwyneth Paltrow’s usage of “conscious uncoupling” when she and Chris Martin separated — became a running joke.

After Smith posted a video of himself jumping rope, someone commented, “Ok don’t get entangled.”

Smith replied in the comments, “Hahaha... Okay... I can admit it. That’s Funny! I’m definitely gonna block you. But the joke was Very Funny!”


In an October 2020 YouTube video, Smith further clarified why it looked like he had been crying in the “Red Table Talk” episode.

“I’m not sad a lot,” Smith explained. “I think because I drink so much coffee, I get dehydrated and it makes my eyes water. People think I’m crying all the time.”

“He doesn’t cry. He wasn’t crying,” Pinkett Smith added, before Smith shared that it had been a late night.

“We were shooting at midnight because we were trying to rush and go to the airport in the morning,” he said. “I said reshoot it but it played out. Everyone is like ‘Poor Will.’ ... They love they-self some Will.”

What Jada Pinkett Smith said about her entanglement to Hoda

In Pinkett Smith’s Oct. 13 NBC News primetime special with Hoda Kotb, the actor shed new light on the entanglement story.

Pinkett Smith reiterated that Smith always knew about her relationship with Alsina and she said that she and her hubby have actually been separated since 2016, but they never shared the news with the public.

When asked why, Pinkett Smith said it came down to them “just not being ready yet ... Still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership ... In regards to, how do we present that to people? We hadn’t figured that out.”

Pinkett Smith said there were “a lot of things” that caused her marriage to crumble, and even though she and Smith are separated, she said they're not interested in getting a divorce.

“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through ... whatever,” she said. “I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com