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Jada Pinkett Smith Says Oscar Slap Helped Her Realize She Will 'Never Leave' Will Smith

"I call it the 'holy slap' now," the actress explained in a new interview

<p>Kevin Mazur/WireImage</p> Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards

Jada Pinkett Smith is getting candid about Will Smith's infamous Oscar slap, which she's now crediting for helping her realize she "will never leave" her husband.

In a new interview with the Daily Mail's YOU Magazine, the 52-year-old actress explained that Will's decision to slap Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards has earned a new title for her: The "holy slap."

"I nearly didn’t even attend the Oscars that year, but I’m glad I did," Jada told the outlet.

"I call it the 'holy slap' now because so many positive things came after it."

Kevin Mazur/VF22/WireImage for Vanity Fair Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Kevin Mazur/VF22/WireImage for Vanity Fair Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Related: Jada Pinkett Smith Celebrates 'Perfect' Thanksgiving with Husband Will Smith and Their 3 Kids

According to Jada, the Oscars controversy — in which the Fresh Prince alum, 55, slapped Rock after he made a joke about the actress' appearance during the ceremony — made an impact in their marriage.

"That moment of the s--- hitting the fan is when you see where you really are," said Jada, who previously revealed that she and Will had been separated for seven years. "After all those years trying to figure out if I would leave Will’s side, it took that slap for me to see I will never leave him."

She added: "Who knows where our relationship would be if that hadn’t happened?"

Speaking with PEOPLE in October for the release of her memoir, Worthy, Jada shared that she initially thought the Academy Awards moment was "a skit."

"Like many people watching the incident unfold on live TV, she didn’t believe it was real at first. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him,’ ” she said. “It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit.” The first words she uttered to Will once they were alone after the show were “Are you okay?”

“I’m going to be by his side,” she added, “but also allow him to have to figure this out for himself.”

<p>Jason Koerner/Getty Images</p> Jada Pinkett Smith appears at the 2023 Miami Book Fair at Miami Dade College

Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Jada Pinkett Smith appears at the 2023 Miami Book Fair at Miami Dade College

Related: Will Smith Posts Joke 'Official Statement' Video Following Wife Jada Pinkett Smith's Marriage Revelations

As for Will, the Emancipation star opened up about his "adversities of the last couple years" last week at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia.

During a conversation in front of an audience, he detailed his relationship with fame.

"Fame is a unique monster," Smith said, per a clip shared online by Deadline. "I've had to be really careful."

"You can't get excited when everybody is saying good things about you, because the more you take when people are saying good things about you, the more hurt you're gonna be when people are saying bad things about you," he added.

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Smith also explained the importance of being "clear about who I am and what I am attempting to do in the world," and not needing others to "applaud for me to stay focused on my mission."

"I am in the process of perfecting my virtue. I would say the greatest thing that has happened is I have been deeply humbled and deeply inspired to perfect my light," he said. "And that's what this next phase of my life is going to be — perfecting and shining my light as brightly as I can, on as many people as I can."

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