It can sometimes seem like addiction and celebrity go hand in hand.
But Girls Trip actress Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith, still surprised her fans with an emotional confession about her unusual past addictions.
A family secret
Pinkett Smith has been hosting a Facebook Watch series called Red Table Talk that isn't afraid to cover hot topics.
On her latest episode, Pinkett Smith was joined by her mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones, her 17-year-old daughter Willow, her sister-in-law Ashley Marie, and R&B star August Alsina.
Facing Addiction: Jada & Adrienne Share Their Family's Story
For the first time ever, Jada’s mom Adrienne Banfield Norris shares details of her 20-year heroin addiction, and how it affected a young Jada Pinkett Smith. Also joining the family is special guest August Alsina, and Will Smith’s youngest sister, Ashley Marie, both of whom have faced addiction. If you or someone you know struggles with addiction, we would like to help you find information about substance misuse, prevention and recovery. Please visit Facing Addiction with NCADD: resources.facingaddiction.orgPosted by Red Table Talk on Monday, July 9, 2018
The topic of the day was addiction, and everyone had something painful to discuss.
Pinkett Smith's mother revealed she was once a heroin addict, while Marie and Alsina described their own struggles with drug addiction.
But Pinkett Smith's confession was the most surprising of all:
"My sort of addictions jump," she revealed.
"They jump around. When I was younger, I definitely think I had a sex addiction of some kind, yes, that everything could be fixed by sex."
Even with her mother and daughter by her side, Pinkett Smith wasn't afraid to discuss the uncomfortable topic.
But the discussion left many fans wondering just how serious sex addiction can be.
"You can create so much pleasure, you just constantly want it."
While it's not well-known, sex addiction is a real and recognized condition, which was recently addressed by the World Health Organization.
One study says that between 3 and 6 percent of Americans are sex addicts.
But it's still not clear whether sex addiction is an impulse control disorder - like OCD - or a behavioral addiction.
Medical experts say that sex addicts experience the same rush of dopamine as gambling or food addicts.
While celebrity men including Tiger Woods, Russell Brand, and David Duchovny have all battled sex addiction, experts say it's just as common for women.
To get a diagnosis, a patient has to demonstrate that their behavior is unreasonable or out of control, and Pinkett Smith says she definitely was.
"It’s not what you’re doing but how you’re with it. Why you’re doing it," she explained.
"It’s the behavior that’s attached to it because if you want to have a lot of sex, that’s great, but why are you having all that sex? That’s what you’ve got to look at."
As she explained on a previous episode of Red Table Talk, "You can create so much pleasure, you just constantly want it."
"I remember reaching a rock bottom."
Along with her sex addiction, Pinkett Smith says she also struggled with an addiction to exercise, and even turned to alcohol.
"I remember reaching a rock bottom that time I was in the house by myself, and I had those two bottles of wine and was going for the third bottle," she said.
"And I was like, ‘Now hold up. You’re in this house by yourself going onto your third bottle of wine? You might have a problem."
While treatments for these kinds of addictions usually involve counseling to break destructive behavior patterns, Pinkett Smith had her own approach.
"So I went cold turkey. That’s the thing about me: I can go cold turkey," she explained.
"I am a binger, and I always have to watch myself, and I can just get obsessed with things."
"I've always told Will, 'You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be OK.'"
With Pinkett Smith's confession about her addiction, fans are seeing her famous past comments about her marriage to Will Smith in a new light.
In a 2005 interview, Smith hinted that he had a surprisingly liberal marriage with his wife.
"If it came down to it, then one [spouse] can say to the other, 'Look, I need to have sex with somebody. I'm not going to if you don't approve of it — but please approve of it,'" he explained.
Jada cleared the air in 2013, saying that despite what Will and her are allowed to do, they're happily married.
"Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so," she wrote on Facebook.
"This does NOT mean we have an open relationship."
Pinkett Smith went even further to dismiss rumors that she and Will were seeing other people behind each other's backs last year.
"The craziest rumour?," she said in an interview.
"That Will and I are swingers. That's the craziest one. It’s constant. And I’m like, 'Yo, I wish!'"
It must be tough to talk so openly about an addiction like this, good for Jada!
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