Chris Rock Asked Out Jada Pinkett Smith Before the Slap, Explaining Everything
Just when you think everyone has said everything that could ever be said about The Slap, here comes Jada Pinkett Smith with some crucial details. Honestly, Jada, this all would have made more sense if you could have just told us a year and a half ago…
But why come clean when you don’t have a book to promote? Now she does (Worthy is out next week), so Pinkett Smith is spilling the tea to PEOPLE, including a nugget that’s probably the most relevant piece of information we didn’t know already: Chris Rock asked her out on a date while she was married to Will Smith.
In fairness to Rock, he only asked because everyone was saying Will and Jada were splitting up for good. “I think every summer all the reports would come out that me and Will were getting a divorce,” she told PEOPLE. “And this particular summer, Chris, he thought that we were getting a divorce. So he called me and basically he was like, ‘I'd love to take you out.’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ He was like, ‘Well, aren't you and Will getting a divorce?’ I was like, ‘No. Chris, those are just rumors.’ He was appalled. And he profusely apologized and that was that.”
Well well well. If Will knew that Rock was trying to make time with his lady, that might explain why the eventual Oscar winner was a little oversensitive about the comedian’s jokes. Even so, Pinkett Smith just assumed the entire incident was comedy — until she realized it wasn’t.
After The Slap, Pinkett Smith first “thought it was a skit.” But it didn’t take long to realize that what could have been construed as a comedy bit was all too real.
“From where I was sitting I couldn't tell. It didn't look like Will hit Chris, because, number one, I'd seen Will in the boxing ring with pro fighters — Will's a heavy-hitter. So when Chris moved, it looked like he ducked or he missed the shot,” she says. “And when he continued to stand, and then when he continued to walk down to the end of the stage, I was like, ‘There's no way. There's no way that Will hit him.’ ”
(Announcer’s voice: “Will hit him.”)
It wasn’t until Smith swaggered back to his chair “that I even realized it wasn’t a skit,” she said. “I was in as much of a fog as anybody else in that room that night.”
With these new details, it seems like Rock’s comedy bit wasn’t the only thing that sent Smith bumrushing the stage. But what did Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, actually think about Rock’s G.I. Jane 2 joke?
“I mean, that's what comedians do,” she says in a refreshing display of understanding how awards shows work. “I would just have to say that I am not really here to make any judgment on how people decide to express themselves and express their art. I'll say that several times I've had my feelings hurt, for sure. I've had my feelings hurt a lot by Chris. But at the end of the day, too, being in the spotlight, it comes with the territory.”