Why does Jada Pinkett Smith’s new show have me in my feelings after every episode?
The Hollywood actress tackled addiction on the latest episode of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk. Joined by her mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones, her sister-in-law Luva Marie Smith, and singer August Alsina, they all got real about their vices.
But I was enraptured by Banfield-Jones.
Although we’ve all been taught to never judge a book by its cover, I fell into that trap with Banfield-Jones. When you see the 64-year-old, you think, ‘No way could this gorgeous woman have had any troubles in her life.’
But man, was I wrong. Banfield-Jones opened up about her more than 20-year addiction to heroine, and she stated that sharing this part of her journey with the world was difficult.
“It’s difficult to talk about something that is gonna go out to the world,” Banfield-Jones said while tearing up. “I couldn’t hide the unmanageability of my life, and the emotional damage and the spiritual damage I did to myself and to her. That was devastating. I abused drugs for over 20 years.”
And for Jada, being a child with a mother on drugs was a guessing game for her. She couldn’t figure out the difference between exhaustion and addiction until some wisdom in her teens kicked in.
“I think I didn’t find out my mother was addicted to heroin until I was in my teens,” she said. “I could tell when my mother was high. She couldn’t make it on time to pick me up from school. Or she’s nodding off, falling asleep in the middle of something. You just realize, oh, that’s not being tired, that is like, a drug problem.”
She continues, “Alcoholism and drug addiction runs through my family, and I’ve had my own addictions that I’ve had to get over. It just made me realize that really great people just get caught up.”
So, how did Banfield-Jones get clean? She was embarrassed to say that it was all because of a man she was interested in.
“At that time, I didn’t think I was anything without a man. So I had this man come back in my life. It’s sad to say that I did it for a man,” she said.
Jada and the other guests assured Banfield-Jones that however she was able to beat addiction was the blessing she needed, whether that came in the form or a man or not. Looking at them now, Jada admits that her story and her mother’s story seem so unreal, and for that, she is grateful.
“Sometimes it’s hard for me to even talk about our journey together because it’s not believable. It just brings me so much joy, and I’m always so freaking grateful because we made it!” Jada said.
To watch the episode in its entirety, click here.
Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog. Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford