Will Smith has opened up on his 24-year marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith, a union which has been under scrutiny since the couple revealed they were not always monogamous.
They tied the knot in 1997, and briefly and amicably separated in 2016 before reuniting.
They share children Willow, 20, and Jaden, 23, while Will also has son Trey Smith, 28, from his first marriage to Sheree Zampino.
At one point, Will and Jada's marriage reached breaking point during a blistering row that nearly ended everything, before they decided something had to change because they were both "miserable".
The change they opted to make was to move away from monogamy, with both parties going on to have sexual relationships with other people.
This was not something Will and Jada made public - but they were forced to address it when rapper August Alsina claimed he'd had a relationship with Jada, with Will's permission.
Will, 53, and Jada, 50, initially denied the claim, but Jada later confirmed it was true on her Red Table Talk show in 2020.
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In a new interview with GQ, Will explained: "Jada never believed in conventional marriage. Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship. 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."
He added: "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."
Will also said he did not "suggest this road" to anyone, but added the "freedoms" and "unconditional support" they had given each other was what he believed epitomised love.
But ten years ago, their marriage had broken down almost irrevocably after a gift Will bought Jada backfired spectacularly.
In his brutally honest upcoming memoir Will , the actor recalled Jada's 40th birthday back in 2011. Will had spent three years planning a dinner with Jada and her friends and family, to screen a documentary he had commissioned, all about Jada.
Image:2016 Trae Patton/NBC)
Image:2008 Getty Images)
The documentary would trace his wife's lineage all the way back to slavery, tracking down a descendant of the family who once owned Jada's ancestors.
But when the pair got back to their hotel room that night, Jada told Will: "That was the most disgusting display of ego I have ever seen in my life."
A furious argument ensued which was so noisy and went on for so long that their daughter Willow, then ten, came in sobbing with her hands over her ears, begging them to stop.
"Our marriage wasn’t working," Will wrote.
"We could no longer pretend. We were both miserable and clearly something had to change."
In his book, Will also opened up on the many compromises and sacrifices Jada had to make during their relationship, for Will's benefit.
She did not want a traditional marriage ceremony, but eventually he persuaded her to have one with him.
He then pushed her to move into a 256-acre compound that she hated, leading Will to call it "a mortgage of misery".
And Jada also had to turn down an opportunity to open for Guns N' Roses with her band Wicked Wisdom so Will could continue filming The Pursuit of Happyness - a 2006 film that would land him an Academy Award nomination.
Always incredibly honest with Will, Jada once criticised his parenting with his eldest son Trey, whose mother is Will's first wife, Sheree.
Jada said she told Will: "You’re so concerned about creating this picture that you have in your mind that you can’t even see the blessing that is standing right there in front of you."
Sheree explained in an interview that Trey had felt "betrayed and abandoned" by his father.
But in 2018, Will and Trey put a united front on as father and son, in an Instagram video.
"It has not always been like this between Trey & I," Will captioned the video.
"We struggled for years after my divorce from his mother. He felt betrayed & abandoned."
He went on to say it was a "blessing" to "recover and restore" their bond.
Will told GQ of the struggle he and Jada found even after opening up about their relationship and non-monogamy - that it's almost impossible to change the public's perception of a situation once they have decided a certain narrative.
Not comfortable with divulging any further information about how he and Jada have moved forward, Will did address the now infamous meme of him during the Red Table Talk episode where Jada discussed her "entanglement" with Alsina.
A picture of Will looking red-eyed and miserable had circulated, while viewers speculated that he was at breaking point and used the snap as a reaction picture.
Will explained this was not the case - he was just very tired.
It was about midnight, and the family were due to go on holiday the next day, and so Will insisted his appearance was simply down to exhaustion.
He reminded the interviewer that the discussion was taking place around three years after the "entanglement", and so there were no feelings of pain surrounding it.
Will also revealed to GQ that he is embracing life in a different and honest way in his "f**k it 50's", having gone on a solo retreat in South America and spoken to an intimacy coach who helped him embrace his "impure thoughts" such as his fantasy of having a harem of girlfriends including Halle Berry.
Having been raised Christian, said Will, he feared such thoughts were sinful, but now he realises they are not - even if he acts on them.
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