Nia Long on Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's Relationship: 'They've Been Extremely Vulnerable'

Jada Pinkett Smith recently revealed she had a relationship with singer August Alsina while she and husband Will Smith briefly separated

Nia Long is sharing her thoughts on Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's candidness about their marriage after the couple recently opened up about having gone through a temporary separation.

The Fatal Affair actress weighed in on the situation during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, where she said she empathizes with the couple over how the public has reacted to their bombshell Red Table Talk episode.

"I feel bad for Will and Jada right now, because they’ve been extremely vulnerable with their personal story," she told the outlet. "And it takes a lot of courage to do that."

Long, who starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alongside Smith, said that the actor is "an icon in our community" and hopes that the public will "back off and leave them alone."

Nia Long; Jada Pinkett Smith; Will Smith
Steve Granitz/WireImage; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

During Friday's episode of Red Table Talk — which shattered records for the Facebook Watch show — Pinkett Smith, 48, revealed that she had a romance with R&B singer August Alsina while she and Smith, 51, were going through a temporary separation.

"Four and a half years ago … I started a friendship with August and we actually became really, really good friends," Pinkett Smith explained in the Red Table Talk episode. "And it all started with him just needing some help, me wanting to help his health, his mental state."

“We found all those different resources to help pull him through and from there you and I were going through a very difficult time,” she said to Smith, later clarifying that the pair “decided that we were going to separate for a period of time."

"I just wanted to feel good," Pinkett Smith said. "It had been so long since I felt good. And it was really a joy to just help heal somebody."

Pinkett Smith and Smith — who married in December 1997 — ultimately reconciled and Pinkett Smith's romance with Alsina ended.

red table talk

"When you have a show like Red Table Talk, you want to be what you are sharing with the world, and that’s gotta be a tremendous amount of pressure," Long added of the interview. "We all have our ups and downs with love. Love is a complicated thing."

She shared that being able to "give your partner the room to be who she needs to be" is key in a relationship.

"If it means you're taking a break to do that ... take the break," she said to ET. "I know I sometimes just leave the house and I don’t tell anyone where I’m going and I’m like, OK guys I’ll be back. Because I’ve learned that if I don’t take care of myself first, nothing else in the house runs smoothly."

Smith said his brief split from his wife had taken a toll on him. "I wasn’t sure I was ever going to speak to you again. Like the fact that I’m speaking to you again is a miracle. [Marriage] ain’t for the weak at heart. There’s just certain things that you have to go through. I wish it could be all magic and miracles," he explained.

Pinkett Smith agreed in the Red Table Talk episode, saying, "You gotta go through some s— to get the answers. And I’m just happy because I definitely believe that you and I, we never ever, ever thought that we would make it back."

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