Will Smith Once Wanted to Date Halle Berry and Misty Copeland — While Still Married

Will Smith entertained the idea of having 20 girlfriends while going through a mid-life crisis

Will Smith, Halle Berry, Misty Copeland
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images (2); Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Will Smith is sharing an idea that went from "great" to "horrific" while in the midst of some self exploration.

The actor, 53, who has been married to Jada Pinkett Smith since 1997, revealed in a new GQ profile that he once confessed thoughts about having a harem of girlfriends to an intimacy coach. When the coach pressed him on names, the actor, who was married at the time, said he wanted Halle Berry and dancer Misty Copeland to be included.

As the plan to contact them began to form, Smith realized how absurd the idea was.

"I don't know where I saw it or some s--- as a teenager, but the idea of traveling with 20 women that I loved and took care of and all of that, it seemed like a really great idea," Smith explained in the interview. "And then, after we played it out a little bit, I was like, 'That would be horrific. That would be horrific.' I was like, 'Can you imagine how miserable?'"

In the end, Smith explained how the coach, Michaela Boehm, was really helping him see that having thoughts about other women while married was normal.

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"What she was doing was essentially cleaning out my mind, letting it know it was okay to be me and be who I was," he continued. "It was okay to think Halle is fine. It doesn't make me a bad person that I'm married and I think Halle is beautiful. Whereas in my mind, in my Christian upbringing, even my thoughts were sins."

"That was really the process that Michaela worked me through to let me realize that my thoughts were not sins and even acting on an impure thought didn't make me a piece of s---."

Jada Pinkett Smith (L) and <a href="https://people.com/tag/will-smith/" data-inlink="true">Will Smith</a> attend the World Premiere of Disney’s "Aladdin" at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood CA on May 21, 2019, in the culmination of the film’s Magic Carpet World Tour with stops in Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Mexico City and Amman, Jordan.
Jesse Grant/Getty

In the interview, Smith also shared new details about his 23-year marriage to Pinkett Smith.

The actress, 50, famously opened up about her "entanglement" with singer August Alsina in July 2020, and later invited her husband onto her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk to clear the air about the situation.

While their episode went on to shatter Facebook viewership records, Smith said the public did not get the full story. As GQ's Wesley Lowery noted in the profile, "Because the impetus for the Red Table Talk was Alsina's disclosures, a viewer could have walked away thinking that Jada was the only one engaging in other sexual relationships."

Smith "delicately explained" to GQ "that was not... in fact the case," wrote Lowery.

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Still, Smith declined to provide further details to the magazine, but did reveal new information about his marriage in his memoir, Will. Lowery read a manuscript of the book, which included details about an explosive fight Smith and his wife had after her 40th birthday celebration.

"Our marriage wasn't working," Smith wrote, according to GQ. "We could no longer pretend. We were both miserable and clearly something had to change."

<a href="https://people.com/tag/will-smith/" data-inlink="true">Will Smith</a>, Jada Pinkett Smith
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at Premiere Of Gemini Man. Albert L. Ortega/Getty

Smith, who will be celebrating 24 years of marriage with Pinkett Smith in December, told GQ, "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," he explained. "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 continued, "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. And I don't suggest our road for anybody. I don't suggest this road for anybody. But the experiences that the freedoms that we've given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love."

Smith's new film, King Richard, is in theaters and on HBO Max on November 19.

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