Jada Pinkett Smith Recalls The Time Chris Rock Asked Her Out Amid Will Smith Split Rumors

The “Red Table Talk” star discussed past conversations she said she’d had with the comedian prior to the Oscars slap in her new memoir, “Worthy.”

Chris Rock once asked Jada Pinkett Smith out amid rumors that she and Will Smith were getting divorced, according to the “Red Table Talk” host.

The actor told People in an interview published on Wednesday that the comedian had reached out to her in the summer of 2016 following rumors swirling around at the time that she and Smith were ending their marriage.

“I think every summer, all the reports would come out that me and Will were getting a divorce. And this particular summer, Chris, he thought that we were getting a divorce,” she said. “So he called me, and basically he was like, ‘I’d love to take you out.’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ He was like, ‘Well, aren’t you and Will getting a divorce?’ I was like, ‘No. Chris, those are just rumors.’”

She continued, “He was appalled. And he profusely apologized, and that was that.”

Pinkett Smith also mentions that 2016 phone call in her new memoir, “Worthy,” People reported. “Worthy” is due out on Oct. 17.

A representative for Rock did not immediately return a request for comment.

Pinkett Smith shocked fans this week after she revealed in an NBC News prime-time special with Hoda Kotb that she and Smith had been separated since 2016.

The powerhouse couple, who wed in 1997, have been living “completely several lives,” she told Kotb in a clip from the interview published Wednesday. She added that although the two are legally married, their separation has felt like a divorce.

Pinkett Smith has been entangled in headlines since Smith infamously slapped Rock onstage at the 2022 Oscars after the comedian took a dig at the “Girls Trip” actor over her shaved head. Pinkett Smith has been open about her alopecia journey.

She told People in Wednesday’s interview that Rock had tried apologizing to her after the incident but that she relayed to him that she wasn’t ready to talk to him. She also hinted that Rock and Smith have had issues that stem back to the late ’80s.

“I’ve got to leave that to Will and Chris to talk about, but they got their stuff for sure,” she said.

But the “Set it Off” actor also said that she believed Rock’s animosity toward her derived from a “misunderstanding” between the two from the 2016 Oscars.

Pinkett Smith had been vocal about boycotting the 2016 Oscars, which, for the second year in a row, had only white performers nominated in the four acting categories. Smith was also notably snubbed for his 2015 performance in “Concussion.”

Rock, who hosted the Academy Awards in 2016, memorably ripped Pinkett Smith for being vocal about boycotting the show.

“Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties — I wasn’t invited!” he said onstage at the time.

Pinkett Smith told People that she perhaps did not recognize “the level of pressure [Chris] might’ve been under” as Oscars host at the time.

“I probably should have called him and gone, ‘Hey, are you OK? And just know that although I’m speaking out about the Oscars, I do wish you the best, and I just want you to know that’” she said, adding that Rock’s “feelings might’ve been hurt.”

She added that she had a conversation with Rock after the 2016 Oscars and thought the two had moved on.

“He apologized, and I apologized to him as well,” she said. “So I actually thought that we were good, that the hatchet was buried between us. And we hadn’t talked since then until 2022 came.”

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