When Jada Pinkett Smith decided to launch her first talk show on Facebook, of all places, nobody could have predicted how incredibly popular it would become.
Since kicking off in May, every episode of “Red Table Talk” has reached anywhere from 4 million to nearly 30 million streams, thanks to the candor of Jada, her mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris, daughter Willow and a who’s who of celebrity guests — including, but not limited to, Tiffany Haddish, Gabrielle Union, Leah Remini, Ellen Pompeo and her own husband, Will Smith.
Hitting on subjects like racism, depression, abuse and marital strife, the show pulls no punches as both Jada and her guests spill more than any star normally would on a daytime talk show.
As we put 2018 in the rear view, take a look back at the biggest revelations from the show … so far.
The “Truth” About Jada & Will’s Relationship
The show devoted two full episodes to Jada and Will’s relationship, from their unlikely beginnings to their low points. The first surprise was Jada revealing she actually went on a date with Alfonso Ribeiro first. Then, when Will went to visit Jada on set of “A Different World” for a proper introduction, he would end up meeting his first wife Sheree Fletcher instead. Will’s first call when he got divorced: Jada.
Viewers also learned Will banished profanity from their home for 20 years, that Jada was “pissed” while pregnant during their wedding and how, at one point, they “broke up.”
Will remembered a moment in their marriage where it appeared like everyone was “winning” to the outside world, but Jada “woke up and cried 45 days straight” in private. “Jada’s an actress, but she had two babies and she had to be home to raise her babies while I got to do everything I wanted to do,” he explained. “She was sacrificing herself to fit my picture.”
To move forward as a couple, Smith said he and Jada had to “destroy our marriage,” but added that divorce was “never even a consideration” for either of them. “I had been divorced before,” he added, “I wasn’t getting divorced again.”
They ended the conversation by running through just some of the tabloid gossip thrown at them over the years. “Let’s clear some rumors, just to have it on record,” said Will. “We’ve never been Scientologists, we’ve never been swingers.” Jada added, “that’s a very specific lifestyle!”
Willow Used to be a Cutter
Willow said she felt like she lost her “sanity” after the release of “Whip My Hair” back in 2010.
“I honestly feel like I lost my sanity at one point. It was after that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing and and I had just stopped doing singing lessons and I was kind of just in this gray area of, ‘Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything I can do besides this?'” she explained. “After the tour, the promotion and all that, they wanted me to finish my album and I was like, I’m not going to do that.”
“After all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull, I was just listening to a lot of dark music. It was just so crazy and I was plunged into this black hole, and I was cutting myself,” she continued.
Jada was shocked. “What? Really? I didn’t see that part. Cutting myself where?” the concerned mother asked, to which the teenager responded, “On my wrist. You can’t see it. I totally lost my sanity there.”
She added, “One night I was like, this is actually psychotic and after that I just stopped.”
Willow Walked In on Her Parents
During a chat about sex, Willow revealed that her introduction to sex was accidentally seeing her parents doing the deed! “My introduction to sex was obviously walking in on you and daddy,” she said, something which shocked Jada. “It was in, I think Aspen, I came down to get some juice and I saw for a little moment and I ran away. I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is so crazy, what did I just see?’ It wasn’t like I was seeing everything, the room was dark.”
She added that the room was “dark,” so she didn’t see everything, but it felt like she had just “overstepped a boundary,” like she “wasn’t supposed to be there.”
Jada’s Addictions to Sex and Sex Toys
“I’ve had a lot of experience with sex toys — lots,” Jada said in that same episode.
“I don’t think I used toys with a partner, but I did use toys a lot alone. I gave myself multiples first. Multiple orgasms. I was really into it at one point,” she continued. “Just because I was in an exploration state and I was abstaining from men. I actually feel like I went through kind of an addiction too with it. One day I was like, enough, I was having like five orgasms a day. You can create so much pleasure, you just constantly want it.”
“When I was younger, I definitely think I had a sex addiction of some kind,” she explained in a different episode. “That everything could be fixed by sex. You know what I’m saying?”
Jada said she followed that up with becoming a “gym addict,” before “reaching rock bottom” once while home alone. “I was in the house by myself and I had those two bottles of wine and was going for the third bottle and was like, now hold up, you in this house by yourself going for your third bottle of wine? You might have a problem.”
Drake Blew Off Tiffany Haddish
Tiffany Haddish is one very busy woman, but one person she cleared her schedule for was Drake, who she started communicating with after he asked her to be in his music video for “Nice for What.”
“He’s like, ‘let me take you to dinner,'” she explained. “I was like shoot, I’m gonna get my mustache waxed, get my armpits waxed. Got me a nice little dress.” But when came time for the date, he canceled at the last minute due to a “family emergency.”
“I was like okay, I could have made $100,000 today, but I was trying to see what that D do.”
Tiffany Has a Book Full of Dick Pics
Speaking of D … during their discussion, Smith brought up a “special book” Haddish told her about while they filmed “Girls Trip” together.
“My dick pic book!” Haddish exclaimed. “I was doing research, because I’m a scientist. I’m a penialtologist. When I was younger, anytime I would go on a date, I would ask a guy if I could see his penis and then I would pull out my disposable camera and ask can I take a picture of your penis.”
“I’m like, I don’t want your face or anything, I just want to remember your penis,” she continued. “They’d be holding it in their hands and from their hands you can see, dirty nails, dirty dick. The tip of their penis matched the tip of their fingernails.”
Jaden Smith Moved Out When He Was 15
While most teens don’t fly the coop until they’re done with high school, Jaden asked to move into his own place at the age of 15, something Jada called “one of the most heartbreaking moments” of her life.
“One thing that I’ve learned is every child needs something different,” she explained. “At 15 years old, Jaden — and I remember this day specifically, it’s probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life — you got to a point where you told me straight up, mom, I have to leave here to live my life. And I remember thinking to myself, as devastated as I was, I was like, ‘He’s right. The time is now, he’s 15, it’s time for him to leave the house.'” Her mother, Adrienne, added she “would have never agreed with that.”
“I told Will when Jaden was smaller, I said we’d be lucky to keep him in the house until he’s 16. Because he was so mature. He was making films, he could really manage his own life,” Jada continued. “Being in this lifestyle, in this world, is a bubble and he wanted out and I understood that.”
Jada Had a 17-Year Feud with Gabrielle Union
Jada and Gabrielle Union talked about their bizarre falling out — which neither could really pinpoint the cause of — and “healing” relationships with other women.
After the two sat at the red table, Smith kicked things off by saying their lack of communication over the years “was some petty ass shit.” She added, “Every time we would see each other, it was always cordial, always nice, but there was always tension.”
Union then recalled one awkward interaction. “I think it was last year or two years ago, me and my friend were leaving the White House — this is some some boujee Black people thing, so I was leaving the White House — and you were walking in and there was this moment of do I hug her?” Jada also shared an uncomfortable moment at the NAACP Awards, where they were asked to pose for a photo together Union would later describe as “the stiffest picture.”
They both decided to put the negativity behind them, however. For Union, talking it out with Smith was “like a gorilla hopped off my back that I didn’t even know was there. I needed that, I needed you. So, thank you.”
Squashing Beef with Leah Remini
A rift between these two started when Remini name dropped Jada and her husband Will in her 2015 book, “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology,” claiming they all attended a party at Tom Cruise’s house where they played hide-and-seek. She later claimed Jada was a Scientologist.
“It upset me because I didn’t understand why we had to be in your book, we didn’t really have anything to do with this,” Jada said.
“I wasn’t even considering that you would be hurt. I literally, looking back on it, I wasn’t even considering Jada and Will,” Remini said, apologizing. “I’m sorry that I didn’t consider you, because I didn’t. I was so caught up in that pain and also the pain of others and the affects that it had.”
Jada then chalked it all up to being a “big ass misunderstanding,” explaining that she’s not a Scientologist, but someone who’s instead very interested in all religions. Smith said she prided herself as being someone who could “hold my own” but still be “amongst that group of Scientologists.”
Why Jada Wears So Many Turbans
“A lot of people been asking about why I’ve been wearing turbans. Well, I haven’t talked about it, it’s not easy to talk about, but I am gonna talk about it,” she said at the top of the show, which focused on body insecurities and how to feel more body positive.
“I’ve been getting a lot of questions about why I’ve been wearing this turban. I’ve been having issues with hair loss,” she continued. “It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and then just handfuls of hair just in my hands and I was like, ‘Oh my god, am I going bald?’ It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear.”
She said the hasn’t discovered the root of the issue, but it was the reason she recently decided to cut her hair short.
Coming Out to Magic Johnson
Cookie Johnson said it “was a little tough” when son EJ Johnson finally came out to his father. “My husband is the type of person, he reacts quickly, so everything that came to the top of his head, he just let it out and I was like, it hurt my feelings and I know it probably hurt his feelings when he’d go, ‘It’s not what I wanted for my son and do you realize what you’re saying because the world is not going to like that and do you want to live this life?'”
After Cookie told him his reaction was a little harsh, Magic had another conversation with his son the next day. “[He] just was like, we’re gonna get through this, I just need time and we both just started crying a little bit,” EJ explained. “But then, I moved to New York to go to college and when he came back to visit, he picked me up for dinner and was like … he hugged me so hard, he almost broke my back and then at that point I was like, we’re gonna be okay. I could really feel the love. We’re gonna be fine.”
Jada’s Bias Against Blonde White Women
“I do have my own biases, specifically to blonde women, blonde hair on white women just triggers me,” she said in an episode touching on racism. “I’ve had to catch myself.”
For Smith, that response was developed through numerous incidents of racism throughout her childhood.
“I do remember being teased by white women in regards to my hair, how I looked, feeling belittled,” she explained. “I was going to do an interview with this blonde woman, I thought twice about it, because of how she looked.”
Willow vs. Her Parents
Willow was asked if there was anyone in her past she needed to forgive. That answer came easy: her own parents.
“I definitely had to forgive you and daddy for that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing,” she explained. Willow said her success at such a young age wasn’t handled the way it should have been. “You and daddy should have been, ‘OK, we value her musical growth and knowledge more than her popularity,” she said, explaining how she later rebelled by shaving her head.
“It was mostly daddy because he was so harsh at certain times,” she added. “It was like a couple years, trying to regain trust for trying for not feeling like I wasn’t listened to or no one cared what I felt during that time.”
Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey No Longer Speak
While most of their conversation touched on the topic of racism, Pompeo answering a fan question about her former “Grey’s Anatomy” costar led to the most headlines. The Q: “Are you and Patrick Dempsey still friends?”
“We haven’t spoken since he’s left the show, if that’s … I have no hard feelings toward him,” she answered. “He’s a wonderful actor and we made the best TV you can make together. That’s a talented man right there. He did 11 amazing years.”
“Typically, when people leave the show, they need to sort of find themselves, who they are without the show, because the show takes up so much of your life,” she added. “You need that time to figure out who you are without the show, we have not spoke, but I will always have a place in my heart for Patrick.”
Jada Pulled a Knife on An Ex
In an episode about physical abuse, Jada opened up about being in emotionally abusive relationships, recalling a time she pulled a knife on an ex.
“We were coming from a restaurant and he had been drinking and he was driving and he started getting really aggressive in the car,” she said, before turning to Willow. “This is why I always tell you, pay attention to your surroundings just in case you have to make a quick exit. Thank goodness I knew where I was, I knew how to get out of the car and get to the house.”
After running to the house and changing into sweatpants and sweatshirt, she grabbed “a big old knife from the kitchen” and hid. “He came through the back sliding door, like he was gonna sneak up on me and I came out of his son’s bedroom and I was at the bottom of the hallway like, ‘Don’t come near me,'” she continued. “And he said the quintessential line that you hear in movies all the time, ‘You think I would hurt you.'”
She then credited Spike Lee for “[saving] me from that one,” as he wanted to talk to her about a role in “Girl 6.”
“I got on that plane and he never saw me again, until I was with Will Smith,” she said. “That’s when I saw him. Not a bad guy at all, very sweet guy, but just has those tendencies of violence. That was all the sign I needed.”