On the latest episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook series, “Red Table Talk,” the actress welcomed her younger brother, Caleeb Pinkett, to talk about forgiveness and their tumultuous relationship with their late father, Robsol Pinkett, Jr.
“We had a lot of resentment,” Pinkett Smith recalled. “We had that feeling like we had to be responsible for him, but he never had to be responsible for us and that was a hard pill for me to swallow.”
Robsol struggled with drug addiction and died of an overdose in 2010. Jada recalled the horrendous fight she had before her father’s death and the moment has haunted her for years.
“The most difficult part about him dying like that is because he and I had had a horrendous fight when I found out that he relapsed,” she said. “I was like, I don’t owe you nothing, you didn’t do shit for me, you didn’t do shit for Caleeb. I don’t owe you nothing.”
Her brother said he’d had a similar talk with their father. According to Pinkett Smith, Caleeb “became a man” after Robsol’s death.
“He had to go identify the body, he had to take care of the funeral arrangements, and to have that happen and I didn’t have to take care of it? He had it,” she explained. “The way [Pinkett] handled it was with so much strength and so much grace, and that’s when he really grew up to me in that moment. To have my little brother be able to step up for me, was an amazing moment.”
Reflecting on her father’s death also helped Jada release some of the guilt she had been suppressing.
“I had the most startling realization that Rob’s life wasn’t about him being my father. Rob’s life was about Rob being on his journey, and it just so happened along the way that he gave me life,” she said. “And in that moment I realized he was not born to be my dad. That wasn’t the only thing he was here to do. He’s a person first with his own journey.
“That was my aha moment of utter forgiveness, to be able to see him as human being,” the “Girls Trip” star added.
“That’s when I started, even in my own life, tearing down all these titles and labels. We get so caught up in all these titles and these labels of what people are supposed to be,” Pinkett Smith continued. “For the last seven years I’ve been in search of emotional independence. That has been the greatest gift in my journey.”