Watch: Oscar's celebrities react to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's relationship has been thrown into the spotlight following a controversial incident at last night's Oscars 2022.
The Academy Awards were thrown into chaos after Will Smith stormed the stage and appeared to slap Chris Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hairstyle.
Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2”, prompting The Matrix star to roll her eyes.
The comment clearly touched a nerve with Smith after his wife, 50, had previously opened up about living with alopecia.
But Smith's dramatic reaction has divided people with some feeling his actions were justified while others, like GMB presenter Susanna Reid, of the opinion there's no excuse for violence.
Earlier in the ceremony, Regina Hall, who was hosting the ceremony alongside Schumer and Wanda Sykes, poked fun at Smith and Pinkett Smith’s marriage.
The incident comes as last week BAFTAs host Rebel Wilson cracked a joke about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s much-publicised open relationship, after he scooped the award for Leading Actor.
Joking about Smith’s win, Wilson said she thought his “best performance in the past year was being OK with all his wife’s boyfriends”.
When the crowd groaned, she said: “Come on, he never showed up!” referring to the fact Smith was absent from the ceremony.
From the reported "open" nature of their marriage to discussions about their sex life and rumours of "entanglements" here's the timeline of the couple's 28-year relationship.
The meet – 1994
The couple met on the set of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when Pinkett Smith auditioned for a role playing Smith's girlfriend.
At the time he was married to Sheree Zampino, but following their split Smith got back in touch with The Matrix star.
After being asked if she was seeing anybody and telling Smith she wasn't, he replied: “Cool. You’re seeing me now.”
Officially dating – 1995
The couple didn't begin seriously dating until 1995 after Smith's divorce from Zampino was finalised, making their red carpet debut at the premiere of the Devil in a Blue Dress.
The engagement and marriage – 1997
After more than two years of dating, Smith proposed to Pinkett Smith in November 1997, with the couple going on to marry on New Year's Eve that same year while Pinkett Smith was pregnant with the couple's son Jaden.
The couple's first child, Jaden, is born – July 1998
On July 8, 1998, a little over seven months since their wedding, the newlyweds welcomed Jaden Christopher Syre Smith.
By then Smith was already a father to his son Trey, who he co-parents with first wife Zampino, but he was happy to be a second-time father.
“I wanted to be a father my whole life,” he told Ava DuVernay as he promoted his memoir, Will, in November 2021. “From the time I was five years old, I knew I wanted to be a family. I knew I wanted to have kids.”
The couple welcome a daughter – October 2000
Just over two years after becoming a trio, the couple saw baby Willow Camille Reign Smith join the family. Willow has decided to follow her father into music and is now a singer.
An 'open' relationship? – April 2013
Throughout their relationship Smith and Pinkett Smith, like many celebrity couples, have faced split and cheating rumours as well as whispers they may be in an 'open' marriage, which seem to stem from a HuffPost Live interview.
“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,’” she told HuffPost Live.
“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.”
After Pinkett Smith’s choice of words fuelled speculation of an open marriage, she attempted to clarify her comments writing on Facebook: “Here is how I will change my statement...Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship... this means we have a GROWN one.”
Smith addresses divorce rumours – 2015
After split rumours persisted, Smith clarified the couple were very much still together and not heading for divorce.
“Under normal circumstances, I don’t usually respond to foolishness. But, so many people have extended [to] me their ‘deepest condolences’ that I figured – ‘What the hell… I can be foolish, too!’ he wrote on Facebook at the time.
“So, in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over and over-again-ness… Jada and I are… NOT GETTING A DIVORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
An 'entanglement' reveal – July 2020
The couple’s marriage made headlines once again in the summer of 2020 after Pinkett Smith revealed she had an “entanglement” with rapper August Alsina, 29, while temporarily separated from her husband.
However, her romantic relationship with the R&B singer came to an end when the acting pair later reconciled.
Watch: Hollywood reacts after Will Smith hits Chris Rock at Oscars
Smith further hints at an 'open' marriage – September 2021
Last September, Will Smith spoke to GQ about the couple's marriage, revealing that there was a point where they decided not to have a monogamous relationship, as they were “both miserable and clearly something had to change.”
Smith has told the publication that he and his wife of 24 years “never believed in conventional marriage”.
“Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship," he said. "So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up. There were significant, endless discussions about ‘What is relational perfection? What is the perfect way to interact as a couple?’
“And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection.”
Smith added that he didn't want people to go away “thinking that (Jada) was the only one engaging in other sexual relationships”.
“We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way. And marriage for us can’t be a prison."
Pinkett Smith's sex life discussions – October 2021
In a Red Table Talk discussion with Gwyneth Paltrow Jada Pinkett Smith revealed it was “hard” to maintain a good sex life with her husband because they’re determined to communicate about their needs.
The 50-year-old actor said the pair are big believers in taking “accountability” and communicating, rather than expecting each other to “read minds”.
But Pinkett Smith went on to admit the couple's desire to talk things through can make it “uncomfortable” when it comes to sex, as they both find it hard to properly talk about their wants and needs in the bedroom without feeling awkward.
The star later addressed the misconstruing of some of the comments she made about how maintaining a healthy sex life in any marriage is “hard", explaining via Twitter that she and her husband “have NEVER had an issue” in the bedroom.
Smith addresses infidelity rumours, again – 2022
During an interview on CBS Sunday Morning earlier this month, Will said he and his wife had never accused each other of cheating.
He said: “Never. There’s never been infidelity in our marriage... And we have never surprised one another with anything ever... I have decided that chatter about my life can be of a benefit to people. I think that chatter is the first stage to having a real conversation and being able to truly explore if some of the things in your heart are loving, or poisonous.”