Jada Pinkett Smith recently shared in an interview with the Daily Mail that the moment when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony actually became a pivotal point in saving their marriage.
According to PEOPLE in a new interview with the Daily Mail’s YOU Magazine, the 52-year-old actress explained that Will’s decision to slap Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards has earned a new title for her: The “holy slap.”
“I nearly didn’t even attend the Oscars that year, but I’m glad I did,” Jada told the outlet.
“I call it the ‘holy slap’ now because so many positive things came after it.”
According to Jada, the Oscars controversy — in which the Fresh Prince alum, 55, slapped Rock after he made a joke about the actress’ appearance during the ceremony — made an impact in their marriage.
“That moment of the s— hitting the fan is when you see where you really are,” said Jada, who previously revealed that she and Will had been separated for seven years. “After all those years trying to figure out if I would leave Will’s side, it took that slap for me to see I will never leave him.”
She added: “Who knows where our relationship would be if that hadn’t happened?”
Speaking with PEOPLE in October for the release of her memoir, Worthy, Jada shared that she initially thought the Academy Awards moment was “a skit.”
“Like many people watching the incident unfold on live TV, she didn’t believe it was real at first. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him,’ ” she said. “It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit.” The first words she uttered to Will once they were alone after the show were “Are you okay?”
“I’m going to be by his side,” she added, “but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself.”