Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris touch on a tough family secret.
The co-hosts of “Red Table Talk” on Facebook Watch got candid this week about what was missing from their mother-daughter connection while the 50-year-old actress was growing up.
“One of the things that was so lacking in my relationship with my mom and with Jada was just touch,” said Norris, 68, in a clip from the new episode shared with E! News.
Jada then confirmed that she was used to not getting “snuggles” as a little girl.
The pair were chatting with Kelly McDaniel – author of Mother Hunger: How Adult Daughters Can Understand and Heal From Lost Nurturance, Protection and Guidance – when the bombshell revelation broke during a discussion about family ties.
“Very rarely will you even see Jada and I touch or hug,” Norris continued. “It’s embarrassing because we haven’t hugged in our family. We knew we were loved, but it just wasn’t that kind of nurturing touch.”
She also looked back at the childhood of the “Gotham” star and Will Smith’s daughter, Willow Smith. Norris noted that the 21-year-old loved to cuddle when she was young. While the “Whip My Hair” singer and her grandmother often hugged, Jada explained that the touch was a departure from their upbringing.
“But it was different with her,” Jada said. “She never snuggled with me.” Norris said she now regrets not having a closer physical bond with her daughter. “It felt so good to have it, and I never had it,” Norris revealed to Willow. “When I had it with you, then I missed it with Jada. I realized how much I miss her.”
The episode also featured the ‘Scream 2’ star speaking alone about a frightening incident in Italy when she was 20 – and her mother ultimately saved her life.
In a separate clip obtained by People, Jada recalled asking her mother if she should accept an invitation to sail on a stranger’s boat.
“Remember when the valet told me, ‘I have a boat, I want to take you to dinner’? I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m in Italy! I’m 20, you know what I mean?” Jada joked about the experience.
She continued, “So I called my mum. I said, ‘Mom, the valet wants to take me on this boat.’ She said: “Well, first of all, if he has a boat, what does he do with parking cars? And second, you don’t get in a boat with anyone.’”
Jada then revealed her mother’s advice, saying Norris told her at the time, ‘If anything happens to you, no one will hear you. You will be in the middle of nowhere. Not – Jada”
“And I said, ‘Oh, snap, mom. You’re right,’” Jada recalled.
“And let me tell you,” she said, “because I was about to get on that boat. As far as I know, I may have been a victim of human trafficking. Straight. Because they knew I was alone. To this day I think, ‘She saved my life again.’”