Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith separation rumor goes viral


Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith at the Oscars in 2002. (LAURA RAUCH/AP)

Update: Reps for both Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith have issued a statement from the couple that says rumors of a split ”are false” and their marriage ”is intact.”

The InTouch Weekly exclusive arrived in the e-mail inboxes of celebrity bloggers and reporters this morning. “Will and Jada Pinkett Smith SEPARATE!” it announced, with the requisite caps and exclamation mark for emphasis.

That e-mail linked to a three-sentence story that claims the high-profile Hollywood spouses are splitting up, based entirely on information from an anonymous “insider.” The story then teases readers to pick up this week’s issue of InTouch for “more on this breaking news story.”

That brief, clearly dodgily sourced item has spread like online wildfire in a very dry Internet forest. Almost every outlet — from MSNBC to TMZ — is reporting that the marriage may be over. Yet neither Smith’s nor Pinkett-Smith’s reps have confirmed that it’s actually true. (Actually Pinkett-Smith’s rep, Karynne Tencer, said this to TMZ: “What? In Touch said that? I know nothing about this ... Lord. I'm going back to bed.”)

This is what happens in the lickety-split realm of entertainment blogging, where a juicy rumor can start to sound like fact with the mere posting of a tweet.

For the record, Celebritology reached out to reps for both stars and has not received responses yet. So we know about as much as everyone else does at this point, which is: nothing.

Well, we do know this: Smith, 42, and Pinkett, 39, married on New Year’s Eve in 1997 at the Cloisters Mansion in Baltimore, Pinkett’s home town. They went on to raise two precocious and talented children together — Willow and Jaden — as well as Trey Smith, Will Smith’s son from his first marriage. They always seemed like a pretty solid, happy couple.

Naturally, we’ll keep you posted as more reliably sourced information becomes available.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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