Jada Pinkett Smith’s close friendship with the late Tupac Shakur is well-documented, as the pair showed public displays of affection towards one another on numerous occasions prior to his death.
According to Will Smith, Jada’s husband, her and Pac’s bond was a thorn in his side, creating a “raging jealousy” within him, which he touched on in his new memoir, Will, which was released on Tuesday (Nov. 9). “Though they were never intimate, their love for each other is legendary – they defined ‘ride or die,’” wrote Smith. “In the beginning of our relationship, my mind was tortured by their connection. He was PAC! and I was me.”
The 53-year-old also wrote about Pac having a “fearless passion that was intoxicating, a militant morality, and a willingness to fight and die for what he believed was right.” He added, “Pac was like Harry [Smith’s younger brother] – 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.”
Admitting to feeling a “twisted kind of victory” when Jada chose to spend more time with him than Pac, Smith noted that the “Do for Love” rapper’s relationship with Jada drove a wedge between he and Shakur making it impossible for the two to find common ground.
“If she chose me over Tupac, there was no way I could be a coward,” wrote Smith. “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.”
The King Richard actor also addressed the incessant rumors that Pac and Jada had a sexually intimate relationship with one another, but also acknowledged that the possibility was always there.
“[Me and Tupac] had a little bit of a thing because [Tupac and Jada] grew up together, and they loved each other, but they never had a sexual relationship,” he revealed. “But, they had come into that age where now that was a possibility, and then Jada was with me.” Smith continued, adding, “Pac had a little thing on that, but she just loved him. Like, he was the image of perfection, but she was with The Fresh Prince.”
Jada and Tupac met as classmates at the Baltimore School for the Arts and fostered a friendship that lasted until his tragic death in 1996. The two even appeared alongside each other as love interests in the sitcom A Different World, which put their innate and undeniable chemistry on full display. Check out a clip from the episode below: