*Will Smith hit up the latest episode of Red Table Talk to further explore why he mistreated actress Janet Hubert during their time together on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”
Hubert played Aunt Viv for three seasons on the beloved comedy series before she was replaced by Maxwell Reid. The actress previously criticized both the series and Smith, blaming him for her allegedly being blacklisted in Hollywood. Reports of a feud between Hubert and Smith have circulated over the 27 years since.
The two recently reunited for the first time for the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion special, now streaming on HBO Max.
“I have to say, after 27 years, being here today and having the conversation that Will and I had together, it’s healing,” Hubert said after their meeting.
Smith was joined by clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula on his wife Jada’s Facebook Watch series to reflect on his decades-long feud with Hubert, which he attributes to his childhood trauma.
Check out the full episode above, and below are highlights from Will’s conversation with Dr. Durvasula.
On why Will decided to seek healing with Janet:
“We had a [The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air] cast reunion. I wanted us to seek healing and I knew the first phase of that healing was me understanding what she experienced, so I asked Janet to sit down with me, and Dr. Ramani was on set with us that day in case Janet or I needed assistance to be able to make our way through. After 27 plus years, this was the first time that we ever sat down.”
Will felt threatened by Janet, which triggered unhealthy defense mechanisms from growing up in an abusive household:
“So my father was violent in my house. So a part of the whole creation of Will Smith, the joking, [the] fun, [the] silly, was to make sure that my father was entertained enough not to hurt my mother or anybody in the house. Right? So, that plucks a childhood space of inadequacy and when someone comes at me like that, the little boy is fully in that space and I would perform and dance and tell jokes, right? People laughing and people having fun was my defense mechanism. I realize the other side of it was, if I cut you bad enough, you wouldn’t be able to respond.”
After being cheated on, Will relied on money and power to provide a sense of safety:
“I’m not arrogant enough to think that my actions and behavior were perfect. My actions and behavior were flawed and hurtful. Probably, there’s nobody on earth that would say I hurt them that bad…At 21, I was trying to be the biggest star in the world. Right? I was doing an album, a movie, and a TV show every year.”
Scroll up and watch the full episode via the player above, or click here.