Jada Pinkett Smith Discusses Past Sex, Alcohol Addictions

By Victoria Kim 07/11/18

The actress held a roundtable on addiction featuring her mother and singer August Alsina for her Facebook talk show, Red Table Talk.

Jada Pinkett Smith

Addiction has been a part of Jada Pinkett Smith’s life, but each time she was able to rein it in, overcoming each “obsession” through self-reflection.

In the latest episode of her Facebook talk show, Red Table Talk, the actress and mom-of-three discussed her encounters with “several” addictions alongside guest hosts Ashley Marie (her sister-in-law), August Alsina, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris—all of whom have experienced addictions as well.

“My sort of addictions jump. They jump around. When I was younger, I definitely think I had a sex addiction of some kind, yes, that everything could be fixed by sex,” Pinkett Smith said on the July 9th episode.

Addictions to sex-related behaviors was a recurring theme in Pinkett Smith’s life. In a previous episode of the talk show, she discussed her “experience with sex toys.”

She also had to rein in her drinking at one point. She recalled her “rock bottom”—sitting at home alone reaching for a third bottle of wine. “And I was like, ‘Now hold up. You’re in this house by yourself going onto your third bottle of wine? You might have a problem.’”

After that, she cut herself off. “I went cold turkey. That’s the thing about me: I can go cold turkey. I am a binger, and I always have to watch myself and I can just get obsessed with things.”

In the same episode, her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, 64, revealed that she had “abused drugs” for over 20 years.

Pinkett Smith described what it was like seeing her mother’s heroin use as a child growing up. “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.”

Today, her mother has 27 years of sobriety. “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,” said Banfield-Norris.

Through her mother’s experience and her own, Pinkett Smith has a greater understanding of addiction and recovery. “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,” she said.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr