On their show Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter and her mother had an emotional conversation about the abuse in their family history
Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones are opening up about a painful subject — the domestic violence that Banfield-Jones faced from Pinkett Smith’s father, Robsol Pinkett, Jr., who died in 2010.
“I knew that my mother and my father had a very violent relationship early on,” Pinkett Smith said in an introduction. “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.”
The family discussed Banfield-Jones’ scar on her back from the time that Pinkett Smith’s father “threw” her “over the banister” and a black eye that he gave her.
“Not to make this like an excuse … but he was typically in an altered state when he was abusive like that,” Banfield-Jones said. “He was typically drunk.”
“I think women stay because they think that they’re in love,” she noted. “That’s what it was for me. I thought that it was love.”
Banfield-Jones then revealed a time when she “actually ran for my life,” causing her to end the relationship.
“He was pissed off about something. I don’t even remember what the argument was about,” she said. “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.”
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“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,” she continued. “That was it. Mommy was like, ‘That’s enough of that. We’re done.'”
Pinkett Smith also talked about a better side of her father. “Once he did get sober, he was really a gentle soul,” she said. “Now that I’m older, I have so much more compassion in knowing what he had gone through.”
“I remember having some experiences with him that are very good,” Willow added.
Pinkett Smith could sympathize with her mother. “I’ve never really had any personal experience in regards to a physical abuse,” the Girls Trip actress said. “I’ve definitely been in relationships that have been emotionally abusive.”
During the same episode Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith said that once “had to pull a knife out on” when her boyfriend was “getting really aggressive in the car.”
In October, Pinkett Smith told PEOPLE that the deeply personal conversations on the show do not bother her.
“That’s really how we talk on a daily basis,” Pinkett Smith explained. “That’s why it’s not difficult for us. It’s how we communicate.”