The Truth Behind Jada Pinkett Smith's Explosive Relationship With Tupac Shakur

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Did Jada Pinkett Smith Date Tupac Shakur? Here's The Truth Behind Their Explosive Relationship
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Did Jada Pinkett Smith date Tupac Shakur?

Even now, nearly 30 years after his murder, the world in general — and the hip hop world in particular — is fascinated with, and by, the life and death of Tupac Shakur. Known by many names — including 2Pac and Makaveli — Shakur's lyrics, words, and life philosophy continue to influence generations of rappers today.

And people are just as fascinated with Shakur's love life as they are by his career. 

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One of the most enduring rumors surrounding Shakur's love life involves his relationship with actress and Red Table Talks producer/host and Will Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith, who was merely known as Pinkett at the time she knew Shakur. Pinkett had a long-standing relationship with the "Hit 'Em Up" rapper that dated all the way back to their school days.

But what was the true nature of their relationship? Let's separate fact from fiction, once and for all. 

1. Did Jada Pinkett Smith date Tupac Shakur? The actress said she and Shakur had "chemistry" but never physically "got together." 

In 2015, Smith admitted that she had deep feelings for Shakur, and it manifested itself in the form of "chemistry."

"You know, it’s so funny because now being older, I have more of an understanding of what that was between us. When you have two young people that have very strong feelings, but there was no physical chemistry between us at all, and it wasn’t even just for me — it was him too," she said, adding that they tried to get physical at the time, but they both felt it was "disgusting." 

2. They first met in high school. 

Smith and Shakur met in Baltimore, MD, when the two of them were in high school in the late 1980s. But it didn't take long for them to "make it" in Hollywood: in the 1990s, Smith got her start on A Different World, and Shakur got his start in the rap collective The Digital Underground. 

3. In the past, Smith said that Shakur was "magnetic." 

"It was the first day and he came over to me and introduced himself. And in high school, Pac was a little funny looking. Definitely from looking at him, wasn’t necessarily the type of cat that I would even, like, deal with. But as soon as he approached me, he was like a magnet. Once you paid attention to him he kind of sucked you in. And we hit it off from that moment on. I don’t think either one of us thought we would have made it in the way that we did, but we knew we were gonna do something," she said.

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4. Smith met her husband, Will Smith, in 1994. 

In 1994, Will Smith was working on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when he met Pinkett-Smith (who was just going by Pinkett at the time). The duo began seeing one another, but Jada Pinkett Smith still maintained her friendship with Shakur. The duo remained friends until Shakur was murdered in 1996. 

5. Will Smith recently said he couldn't handle his wife's relationship with Shakur. 

"She just loved him. He was the image of perfection, but she was with the ‘Fresh Prince,’ so it was, like, we were in the room together a couple of times, I couldn’t speak to him. He wasn’t going to speak to me if I wasn’t going to speak to him,” Smith said in an interview that you can listen to above.

6. But now, Will Smith says he "regretted" the way he handled their friendship.

"That was a big regret for me, too, because I could never open up to interact with Pac. They never had a sexual relationship, but now they had come into that age where that was a possibility, and Jada was with me," he said in the same interview above.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.