"Gabrielle and I were never really girlfriends; we were great associates," Pinkett Smith explained to her co-host and mother, Adrienne, during the intro to the new episode, released on Monday. "At some point, that dissolved and for 17 years we have not really spoken."
Sitting across the table from one another, the two actresses got real about letting their connection dissolve over the years, and their decision to fix things.
"Gab and I, we had a bit of a break, we don't know how, and she's been open to this healing, she's been open to this conversation," Pinkett Smith said, before explaining how cathartic it felt to just apologize to Union.
"It felt so good on the phone with you to even just go, 'Hey, I'm sorry that I didn't even take the time to talk to you, you know?' And then I had to just apologize, and just thinking to myself, 'Damn, Jada! That was some petty ass s**t!'" Pinkett Smith reflected. "Every time we would see each other [over the years] we were always cordial and always nice, but it was always tension."
Union recalled how, several years ago, she'd found herself distanced from all of her closest friends and, after seeking help from life coach AJ Johnson, realized that she'd "been communicating through negativity, and shrinking other people [while] hoping that I'm growing."
Check out the full episode to hear more about each of the actress' journeys of self-discovery.
Earlier this month, Union sat down with Hoda Kotb on the Today show, where she opened up about reforging her friendship with Pinkett Smith, as well as moving past her life's many struggles and hardships.
"Finally, at 44, I found my self-worth. And I started saying, 'I want more joy, peace and grace in my life,'" she told Kotb. "And so no matter what comes in my life, whether that's friendships, relationships, business opportunities, it all has to encompass joy, peace and grace. And everything has changed."
Union also said that her falling out with Pinkett Smith was never the dramatic feud that people believed it to be, but that it grew worse over time due to the media spotlight.
"Jada nor I never used the word 'feud,' so it just became more of a media creation. Kind of like, back in the day, neither one of us actually knows what took place back then," she explained. "But the people that we had around us were like, 'Well, you know how she feels about you,' and they were like, 'Well, you know how she feels about you.' And then it was like, 'OK, girl, bye.' For 17 years."