Will Smith has opened up about the ‘raging jealousy’ he once held over Jada Pinkett Smith’s relationship with Tupac Shakur.
Described as the ‘full story of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had’, Smith’s memoir Will arrived earlier this week to acclaim from fellow celebs – Oprah described it as the best she’d ever read – and The New York Times.
In interviews and excerpts ahead of its release, the Men in Black star has discussed his ‘unofficial split’ from Jada, whom he’s been married to since 1997, and falling in love with a co-star during his first marriage.
In another extract from the book, Smith talks about feeling ‘tortured’ by Jada’s ‘connection’ with Tupac, which left him feeling insecure. The pair grew up as friends in high school before defying the odds and finding ‘their way from under the weight of abuse and neglect’ to become megastars.
‘Though they were never intimate, their love for each other is legendary – they defined ‘ride or die.’ In the beginning of our relationship, my mind was tortured by their connection. He was ‘PAC! and I was me,’ Smith wrote.
He also described Tupac as having a ‘fearless passion that was intoxicating, a militant morality, and a willingness to fight and die for what he believed was right’.
‘Pac was like [Smith’s younger brother] Harry – he triggered the perception of myself as a coward. I hated that I wasn’t what he was in the world, and I suffered a raging jealousy: I wanted Jada to look at me like that,’ he continued, adding he felt a ‘twisted kind of victory’ when Jada was spending more time with him over the rapper.
‘If she chose me over Tupac, there was no way I could be a coward. I have rarely felt more validated… I was in a room with Tupac on multiple occasions, but I never spoke to him. The way Jada loved ‘Pac rendered me incapable of being friends with him. I was too immature,’ he wrote.
Tupac was killed in September 1996 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Smith and Jada got married just over a year later.
The first three episodes of The Best Shape Of My Life, Smith’s docuseries on YouTube chronicling his wellness and memoir journey, are available to stream now.
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