Unbeknownst to the world, Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union were secretly not speaking to each other for almost two decades

By Ale Russian
May 29, 2018 05:12 PM

Unbeknownst to the world, Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union were secretly not speaking to each other for almost two decades.

The actresses, who both gained prominence in the late ’90s, had longstanding tension between them that led to a relative feud for 17 years, Pinkett Smith first revealed earlier this month. Though neither of them can pinpoint the exact moment that caused this rift, both admit to feeling awkward around each other during the period.

The two finally put an end to the silence in a sweet recent episode of Red Table Talk, a Facebook Watch show hosted by Pinkett Smith, where they talk about how they’ve grown in terms of female relationships.

Keep reading for everything they’ve said about their disconnect.

Pinket Smith reveals the secret feud

Pinkett Smith was the first to address the feud between the two in an April interview with Extra in which she promoted her new Facebook Watch talk show Red Table Talk.

“I have a really touching episode with Gabrielle Union,” Pinkett Smith said. “We haven’t been on the best of terms for 17 years and we have a reconciliation.”

“We don’t even know how it started!” she said, adding their feud was “definitely” over.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union
Jason Merritt/Getty; Paras Griffin/Getty

Union confirms it on the Today show

Union then opened up about the feud during an appearance on the Today show in early May.

“Jada nor I ever used the word feud… Back in the day, neither one of us knew originally what took place back then, but the people that we had around us were like, ‘Well, you know how she feels about you,’” Union told Hoda Kotb while promoting her new film Breaking In.

“And then it was like, ‘Okay, girl, bye’ for 17 years,” she continued. “And even though we’re both very outspoken women, we’re both activists, our husbands are friends, we both felt we had too much pride and too much insecurities to actually say, ‘Hey, did that ever happen or was that a creation of someone else who did not want to see two women rise together?’ ”

Adrienne Banfield-Jones, Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith on Red Table Talk
Sadao Turner / Red Table Talk

The two talk about it on Red Table Talk

To put an end to the 17 years of silence, Pinkett Smith invited Union to hash things out on her show. She explained that neither of them really knew why the tension between them started and she wanted to fix the animosity between them.

“Gab and I, we had a bit of a break, we don’t know how, and she’s been open to this healing, she’s been open to this conversation,” Pinkett Smith said to her mom and co-host, Adrienne Banfield-Jones.

Pinkett Smith said she called Union and invited her on the “Girlfriends” episode after not speaking for so long.

“It felt so good on the phone with you to even just go, ‘Hey, I’m sorry that I didn’t even take the time to talk to you,’ you know?” Pinkett Smith explained to Union after they sat down. “And then I had to just apologize and just thinking to myself, ‘Damn, Jada! That was some petty ass s–t!’ But at the same time going, ‘Well, that’s where you were then. Thank God you’re someplace else now.’”

The two ended the episode by holding hands and squashing any beef between them — and walk away as newfound friends.

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