Jada Pinkett Smith Breaks Down Over Parents' Abusive Relationship
"I knew that my mother and my father had a very violent relationship early on..."
On the latest episode of Red Table Talk (aired on Nov. 19), Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Jones and Willow Smith got real on the subject of domestic violence. During the show, the women of the red table had an emotional discussion about a pattern of abuse women in their family have endured.
It was revealed that Jada's mother, Banfield-Jones suffered domestic abuse from Pinkett's father, Robsol Pinkett Jr. during their relationship. Banfield-Jones recalled a painful memory in which her partner threw her over a banister, causing a black eye and a scar she still has on her back. "Not to make this like an excuse … but he was typically in an altered state when he was abusive like that," she remembered. He was typically drunk. I think women stay because they think that they’re in love. That’s what it was for me. I thought that it was love.”
She also recalled a time when she had had enough and chose to "run for my life." "He was pissed off about something. I don’t even remember what the argument was about," she continued. "He started hitting me, and he was in a rage. I was backing out of Daddy’s den into the master bedroom, and you were still in the den, and I said, ‘Oh my god, we left Jada.’ I knew that he wasn’t going to hurt you."
She added: "He left the room to go get you, and I went through the bedroom out the master bath and down the steps and ran across the street to the neighbor … for them to call and get me some help. That was it. Mommy was like, 'That’s enough of that. We’re done.'"
In regards to her parents' toxic relationship, Jada admitted that she had witnessed some of the abuse. "I knew that my mother and my father had a very violent relationship early on," she said. "She has a couple scars on her body that, as a child, I was just curious. I was like, 'Oh, Mommy, what’s that? What’s that?' … This will be the first time that Willow’s actually heard these stories about her grandfather who she knew."
While Jada witnessed some of the violence, she also remembered a gentler side of her father. Willow also chimed in, remembering her grandfather in a different light. "I remember having some experiences with him that are very good," Willow said.
Jada's father passed away in 2010. Pinkett Smith also invited other women to open up about their experiences with domestic violence. Check out the full episode of Red Table Talk in the video above.