Jada Pinkett Smith recalls passing out while filming 'The Nutty Professor' due to a bad batch of ecstasy.
Jada Pinkett Smith is calling herself "a walking miracle" after being able to get a hold of her addiction issues. The 49-year-old actress discussed alcoholism on Wednesday's Red Table Talk and candidly opened up about her own experience with heavy drinking, which she said she mixed with drug use in the past.
Jada said she was a brown liquor drinker and that wine was like Kool-Aid to her. She said that because red wine had a better image given some of its reported health benefits, she convinced herself that it was more acceptable. She also acknowledged mixing drinking alcohol with taking ecstasy and smoking weed.
"But drinking red wine for me was like drinking glasses of water," she shared. "Because I'm used to that hard hit. I was drinking hard in high school, too, and when I got out here I was doing cocktails. So, ecstasy, alcohol, weed. Let me tell you, I was having myself a little ball."
"I wasn't doing things that I thought were addictive," she continued. "But I would do those three together, that was my cocktail. Your threshold becomes so high, that what it takes for you to get to the place you need to get to, it'll take me two bottles to get to ... OK, if I do ecstasy, weed and alcohol at the same time I'm gonna get there faster and I can keep the high going."
Jada acknowledged that she was a "binger."
"When it's time to go, we gonna go," she said of her attitude at the time. "So I wasn't the type of person who was drinking every day, I was like a weekend party girl. Thursday to Monday morning, I would go."
Jada noted that addiction issues run in her family. Her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, struggled with heroin addiction. But Jada said that once she recognized she had a problem, she was able to stop.
"Once I was going for that third bottle of wine, I said, 'You've got a problem,' and it was cold turkey that day," she recalled. "That day I just stopped."
She revealed that there was one "eye-opening" incident that also led to her quitting. Jada shared that she once passed out when she was filming 1996's The Nutty Professor due to her taking ecstasy.
"I went to work high and it was a bad batch of ecstasy," she recalled. "And I passed out and I told everybody that I must have had old medication in a vitamin bottle. But I'll tell you what I did, though. I got my a** together and got on that set. That was the last time."
At this point, Jada's daughter, 20-year-old Willow Smith, said she "would never do something like that" but freely acknowledged smoking weed. But she said that it was important for her to stop smoking for at least two months out of the year and that she's been doing that for four years straight.
Jada replied, "But I think the day that you decide to do it altogether will be a very happy day for me."
"I get it," she added. "I'm grateful that that's all you're dealing with because when I was your age, I was doing it all."
Jada said that she had to reach her rock bottoms before she was able to quit, but noted that others did recognize she had an issue and tried to help her, including her A Different World director, Debbie Allen, after Jada said she once threw up all over Allen's house. Jada acknowledged that she still has triggers and to this day, she can't be around dark liquor like rum and Courvoisier, or vodka. Occasionally, she has had a glass of wine.
"I think back on my life, like, I am a walking miracle, no doubt about that," Jada marveled. "People will not believe."