Jada Pinkett Smith Says Her Mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris ‘Never Cuddled With Me’ While Growing Up


Jada Pinkett Smith and her mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris are opening up about a sensitive family topic.

During a recent episode of her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk, titled ‘How Destructive Mothers Damage Their Daughters: Could This Be You?,’ Jada Pinkett Smith, 50, and her mother/cohost Adrienne Banfield-Norris, 68,affectionately called “Gammy”–got candid about the lack of physical affection within their relationship and upbringing. In a clip of the new episode, Banfield-Norris said,

“One of the things that was so missing in my relationship with my mother and with Jada was just touch..”  

Jada Pinkett Smith then confirmed she grew accustomed to not getting “cuddles” as a child. Gammy continued,

“Very rarely will you see Jada and I even touch, hug. It’s awkward because we didn’t hug in our family. We knew we were loved, but it just wasn’t that kind of nurturing touch.”

Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Norris

Jada added,

“She never cuddled with me.”

The ladies went on to discuss the vast difference in how Jada’s daughter, Willow Smith, 21, was raised and how she and her grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris were far more affectionate. Banfield-Norris said she now regrets not having a closer physical attachment to her daughter, Jada Pinkett Smith. She explained,

“It felt so good to be able to have that, and I never had it. When I had it with you, then I missed it with Jada. I realized how much I miss with her.”

Red Table Talk Adrienne Banfield Norris Jada Pinkett Willow Smith the jasmine brand

In another clip, Jada Pinkett Smith shared how dealing with “adult things” at a young age led her to view emotions as a sign of weakness. She explained,

“I had to, like, deal with a lot of stressful adult things at a young age. I didn’t have the ability to deal with the emotions that were coming with it. I just had to buck up….So those women you see that you think are so strong, there’s this terrified little girl underneath. And that’s me.”

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada continued and shared that it was only after her daughter Willow‘s experiences with anxiety that she realized she, too, suffered from the mental health disorder growing up.

“It took me a long time to understand Willow. I mean, just her anxiety. I had a really difficult time relating, because, two things — her lifestyle and how she was brought up very different than mine — I don’t know what it’s like to be a child under hot lights.” 

Willow Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith

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Authored by: Monique Nicole