While both actresses have spoken out about the episode in the press since sitting down together, the chat wasn't released until Memorial Day. During the 20-minute discussion, they talked about their bizarre falling out -- which neither could really pinpoint the cause of -- and "healing" relationships with other women.
"Gabrielle and I were never really girlfriends, we were great associates that at some point, that dissolved and for 17 years we have not really spoken," Jada explained to her mom before speaking with Union. "We don't even know [what we're mad at]. Today I really want to talk to Gabrielle to find out how we as women, specifically, get here. And this particular episode is about healing."
After the two sat at the red table, Smith kicked things off by saying their lack of communication over the years "was some petty ass shit." She added, "Every time we would see each other, it was always cordial, always nice, but there was always tension."
Union then recalled one awkward interaction. "I think it was last year or two years ago, my and my friend were leaving the White House -- this is some some boujee Black people thing, so I was leaving the White House -- and you were walking in and there was this moment of do I hug her?" Jada also shared an uncomfortable moment at the NAACP Awards, where they were asked to pose for a photo together Union would later describe as "the stiffest picture."
Smith went on to commend Union for her powerful speech at Essence's 2013 Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, where she admitted to taking joy "in people's pain" and said women should "compliment other woman and recognize and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes our light."
Union said she came to that conclusion after she "hit rock bottom" following her first marriage. Working with fitness trainer/life coach AJ Johnson, she came to the realization that had a history of taking pride in tearing other women down. "She got me right between the eyes, it was harsh in the moment, but it was like damn, I have been communicating through negativity," Union explained.
"We've all been there," Smith responded. "Someone else comes along and we feel threatened in some form and we feel like we have to shrink somebody else down in order to feel bigger."
"I'm a hater, I'm a troll," Union said of her past. "[Johnson] was like, all those negative things that had been happening in your life, it's exactly what you're putting out, you're getting back. I had to see myself clearly. It's ugly, it's hard, it's painful to recognize that you are the common denominator for the vast majority of your problems."
When Smith noted that focusing on a healthier outlook led to the loss of some of her friends, Union said she experienced the same thing but had "zero" regrets. "Bye! if you're ever ready, I'll be over here living my best life and enjoying who I really am," she added. "I see that you're enjoying your misery and I'll leave you to that."
Smith then praised Union for being so open and honest about being raped when she was a college student. "I commend you for having the courage to talk about it in the way that you have. I really thank you for that. It's working," she told her guest. "Like I told you on the phone, this is my year of growth. I'm really just, in my life, cleaning up a lot of stuff and you were one of them. Having this moment with you is helping me in that process."
For Union, talking it out with Smith was "like a gorilla hopped off my back that I didn't even know was there. I needed that, I needed you. So, thank you."
"I hope from here on out that we have a bond and you know, you can call on me for anything and thank you for just being open to this," said Smith, before giving Union a key necklace as a gift. "Let this key be a reminder that you are the key to your power."
Watch the full interview below:
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