The Red Table Talk host says 'it was an eye-opening' incident.

By Marcus Jones
July 07, 2021 at 06:02 PM EDT
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Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about her past struggles with substance abuse on this week's Red Table Talk, which featured a discussion about drugs and alcohol.

Sitting alongside her mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris and daughter Willow Smith, the actress recalled "an eye-opening" experience she had on the set of the 1996 film The Nutty Professor, saying, "I had one incident on Nutty Professor. I passed out." She later added, "I went to work high, and it was a bad batch of ecstasy. And I passed out, and I told everybody that I must have had old medication in a vitamin bottle."

Pinkett Smith revealed that was the last time substance abuse interfered with her ability to work. "I tell you what I did though," she said, "got my a-- together and got on that set. That was the last time."

THE NUTTY PROFESSOR
Jada Pinkett Smith and Eddie Murphy in 'The Nutty Professor' (1996).
| Credit: Everett Collection

The actress also shared that her worst drinking days were in high school; "brown liquor" and "vodka" were her favorite drinks. "I could drink almost anybody under the table," she admitted. "When I moved to red wine like, 'This is better for me because they say red wine is good for you.' But drinking red wine for me was like drinking glasses of water… because I'm used to that hard hit."

Once she moved to California to pursue her career, Pinkett Smith said she would use "cocktails" of substances like "ecstasy, alcohol, weed." 

At one point during the discussion, Willow told her mom that she still plans to smoke weed. Pinkett Smith urged her daughter to be careful and listen to those closest to her for advice. "That's why you have to trust the eyes around you. Because you won't know," she explained. "And that was the thing with me. Don't think that people didn't try to tap me on my shoulder. Don't think that when I was at Debbie Allen's throwing up all over her house —"

"Lord have mercy," Banfield-Norris interjected. "Thank you, Debbie. Jesus," she added of Allen, who directed Pinkett Smith in A Different World.

Pinkett Smith concluded the conversation by saying that, despite Allen's warning, she "had to reach my rock bottoms" before she could get better.

Watch the full Red Table Talk above to hear the full conversation.

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