“I remember thinking to myself, as devastated as I was, I was like, ‘He’s right,’” Pinkett Smith said. “The time is now. He’s 15. It’s time for him to leave the house.”


Jaden didn’t follow through with the emancipation, opting to stay with his parents. In 2013, Jaden appeared on Ellen: The Ellen Degeneres Show alongside Will Smith and talked about his decision, joking, “I can get anything and everything at his house, so I’m going to be there for 20, 30 years.”

For his part, Smith has called Jaden “100 percent fearless.”

“As a parent it’s scary, it’s really terrifying,” Smith told the BBC in 2016. “But he is completely willing to live and die by his artistic decisions, and he doesn’t concern himself with what people think.”

Pinkett Smith says she understands why her son wanted to separate himself.

“Being in this lifestyle, in this world, is a bubble, and he wanted out. I understood that because I didn’t have the bubble,” Pinkett Smith told her mother. “I knew what having my freedom outside the bubble, what I gained from that. I knew the sooner I let him go, the faster he was going to come back.”