Will and Jada Pinkett Smith Are "Trying Not to Panic" About Finances, Insider Says

A new report claims that they're having money troubles after the Oscars slap.

In October, Jada Pinkett Smith revealed that she and Will Smith have been separated since 2016, despite the fact they let the public believe they were still together. Now, new reports claim that the former couple are struggling financially, particularly when it comes to their media company, Westbrook. According to a source, Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars had an impact on their business, and now, both actors are "trying not to panic" about their money situation.

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On Jan. 7, Semafor published a report that Smith and Pinkett Smith wanted to sell Westbrook to Candle Media, but that they saw Candle Media's valuation of the company at $600 million as an  "insult," leading to the deal falling through. As a point of comparison, Candle Media bought Reese Witherspoon's production company, Hello Sunshine, in 2021 for around $900 million.

As for the role the Oscar slap played, Semafor reported, "Two sources with knowledge of the company's recent financial situation told Semafor that since the incident in March 2022, Westbrook has struggled to land major deals with the streamers and other entertainment giants, forcing it to make steep cuts." Westbrook produced the movie King Richard, for which Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor; the Peacock series Bel-Air; and other streaming shows.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2022 Critics Choice Awards
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

According to Semafor, a spokesperson for Westbrook "rejected the premise of the piece and framing of several of the facts," including that the company's CFO left abruptly. "Westbrook also pointed to several examples of deals the media company has inked since The Slap." As for the cancellation of Pinkett Smith's streaming show Red Table Talk due to changes at Facebook, the spokesperson said that there are offers for the show to air elsewhere.

In an article that references the Semafor report, a source told In Touch that Smith slapping Rock and the fallout from it "couldn't have come at a worse time." The source continued, "Will and Jada's empire is hurting. It's cash-crunch time, which has them scrambling to cut back on expenses and also work more to make more money so they're not in the red. They're trying not to panic, but they're having a run of bad luck."

The insider also said that Pinkett Smith's 2023 memoir Worthy and her reveal that she and Smith have been separated for years is also partially to blame.

"Jada's explosive book revelations, including that she and Will secretly separated, haven't helped," the source said. "And Will is not bringing in multimillion-dollar paychecks for his films like he used to. Plus their $42 million mega-mansion in Calabasas [California] is super expensive to run, and ongoing renovations have been costing them a fortune."

That said, the insider added that the exes—who married in 1997 and are not planning to divorce, according to Pinkett Smith—are staying positive and "aren't afraid of hard work." They added, "Yes, they're separated, but they still consider themselves an important team and a force in Hollywood. Time will tell if that proves to be the case."

Best Life has reached out to a representative for Pinkett Smith and Smith for comment.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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