Through it all, Will Smith says Jada Pinkett Smith is his ‘ride-or-die’

“Jada is one of the most gangsta ride-or-dies I've ever had,” Will Smith said about his wife and partner of over 25 years.

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Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California. He says she is his "ride-or-die" partner. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

While social media may remain perpetually confused by the state of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s relationship, the actor is certain about one thing: his wife’s support. While promoting his upcoming film “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” the actor reflected on the “ride-or-die” people in his life. 

“It’s funny, I was just talking about this,”  Smith told Entertainment Tonight. “I have always been blessed that there has never been a time in my life when I didn’t look to the side and have a ride-or-die right there.”

According to the “Men in Black” star, his wife is “the most gangsta ride-or-die” he’s ever had. Since making their first public appearance as a couple in 1995, Smith and Pinkett Smith have endured a number of pivotal experiences, both publicly and privately. From “entanglements” outside of their marriage to the infamous 2022 “Oscar slap,” the two continue to showcase their inexplicable and unconditional bond. While some of their decisions may raise eyebrows, Smith and Pinkett Smith shamelessly stand by each other even in the messiest situations. 

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“I’m going to be by his side, but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself,” said Pinkett Smith as she shared her reaction to her husband slapping Chris Rock onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards. “I nearly didn’t even attend the Oscars that year, but I’m glad I did. I call it the ‘holy slap’ now because so many positive things came after it. Who knows where our relationship would be if that hadn’t happened?”

Since that incident, both Smith and Pinkett Smith have revealed more details about their relationship, most recently in Jada’s 2023 memoir, “Worthy,” in which she revealed the couple had lived separately since 2016, as previously reported by theGrio. Despite the separation, the couple presented a united front in public appearances. 

“We just got deep love for each other, and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us,” the “Red Table Talk” co-host explained. 

In addition to his partner of over 25 years, Smith named a few other “ride-or-die” friends. Like his eponymous fictional television character, Smith considers “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” co-stars Alfonso Ribiero, who played his cousin, Carlton Banks, late actor James Avery, who played Uncle Phil, and longtime musical partner DJ Jazzy Jeff, who played his best friend Jazz on the show, among those in his core support system.  

This summer, Smith reunites with one of his onscreen ride-or-dies, Martin Lawrence, for the fourth installment in the almost 30-year-old “Bad Boys” film franchise. 

“At this point in my life, I need the movies to be about something. Part of why ‘Bad Boys’ works for people is at the heart of it is friendship,” Smith told Entertainment Weekly about the beloved movie series. “At the heart of it is love. At the heart of it is a relationship, and it’s the kind of relationship that we all wish we had, somebody that will ride or die with us and for us.”

“Bad Boys: Ride or Die” is set to premiere in theaters on June 7.