Jada Pinkett Smith became emotional when she spoke about her friend Tupac Shakur. On the November 18 episode of her Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk, the Girls Trip actress fought back tears as she recalled her “complex relationship” with the late rapper. After Jada, 48, read Robyn Crawford’s book A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston, she was able to relate to the author’s close relationship to the superstar.
“It was so healing for me in so many different ways,” Jada told Robyn, 58, during the episode. “It’s hard to live with someone who has had a legacy at the level she has had and then to lose them under tragic circumstances. I have a very similar situation.” Both ladies spoke about the friends they’ve loved and lost in the spotlight.
The Bad Moms actress said she met Tupac on their first day of high school in Baltimore in the mid-80s. The two grew incredibly close until Jada felt that she needed to walk away from their friendship when she thought the rapper’s life was growing too dangerous. Jada wished that she told the “California Love” rapper how much she loved him before his untimely death. Tupac was shot in 1997 during a drive-by shooting when he was just 25 years old.
Jada and Tupac were estranged at the time of his death, similar to Robyn and Whitney in 2012. When the “Higher Love” singer began abusing drugs and spiraled, Robyn felt that she needed to remove herself from the picture in order to save herself.
Jada also brought up a part of Robyn’s book where she recalled a moment where the pop star tore up a Bible Robyn had gifted her. The author said Whitney was upset that Robyn slept with one of the backup dancers. “She just grabbed it and ripped out the back page and she started tearing it up, ripping it into little pieces,” Robyn recalled. Jada claimed that Tupac could get possessive of her.
“I understood because of the complex relationship I’ve had with Pac,” Jada revealed. “In those moments of his, ‘Whose that?!’ knowing damn well there ain’t nothing like that between us.”
The Gotham actress continued, “Him feeling like, ‘You’re the only stability I got. I can’t afford for you to put that attention elsewhere. I need that stability.’ So for him, it was… we were an anchor for each other. So any time he felt like that anchor was threatened… Oh my god.”
Robyn hopes her book My Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston will “lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame.” Red Table Talk airs Mondays on Facebook Watch.