Jada Pinkett Smith thought she’d be dead by 21
Jada Pinkett Smith says she never thought she’d make it past the age of 21.
Jada – who is married to Will Smith – admits turning 40 in September 2011 was “surreal” because she grew up in such a tough neighbourhood, she never expected to live so long.
“I grew up in a drug-infested neighbourhood where you walk out each day and you just hope that you make it. I came from a war zone.
“There was a possibility that I wouldn’t make it past 21 – that was the reality. When I turned 40 it was a surreal moment because I had never imagined reaching 40. I looked at my husband and said, ‘Oh my God, I’m 40! What am I going to do now?’ So yes, it does put things in perspective.”
Jada, raised by her drug-addicted mother, is thankful her own children don’t have the upbringing she had and she has no idea how she would cope if she were in her mother’s situation.
“I’d be terrified if I had to raise my kids in the environment I grew up in. When I look at them, I see them flourishing at such young ages and I wish to God I could have had the luxury to sit back and think, ‘Mum, I want to go out and get my vocal lessons today because I have this new song that I want to write.’
“What I had to think about was, ‘Oh man, I wonder what I’m going to eat tonight because there’s no food here. How am I going to get to school? And is my mum going to be OK today? Will this be one more day she survives her addiction?’ That’s the kind of stuff I had to think about at 11.”
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