On Wednesday night, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion show aired on HBO Max, and Janet Hubert, the star who played the original Aunt Viv on the show, revealed that she lost everything after walking away from the popular 90s sitcom.
Hubert revealed that she was in an abusive relationship throughout her final season on the show and felt isolated.
“During that third season when I got pregnant, there was a lot of things going on in my life and Will’s life as well,” Hubert said during the reunion. “Home life was not good at all. I was no longer laughing, smiling, joking because there were things going on that nobody knew about. Cast had no idea what was going on.”
Will Smith confessed that he had been “insensitive” to Hibert during her pregnancy — but added that he understands his error now that he is a father.
“During that time of her pregnancy, I wasn’t sensitive, wasn’t perceptive. Now that I’ve had three kids, I’ve learned some things I did not know at the time. I would do things very differently. I can see where I made the set very difficult for Janet,” the Bad Boys star admitted.
Hubert spoke candidly about the impact of Smith’s actions.
“You took all that away from me with your words,” Hubert continued. “Words can kill. I lost everything. Reputation. Everything, everything. I understand you were able to move forward. You know those words –calling a Black woman ‘difficult’ in Hollywood is the kiss of death. It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in this business. I felt it was necessary for us to finally move forward. And I’m sorry I have blasted you to pieces.”
Smith thanked Hubert for being open about her experience. “The person I want to be is someone who protects you,” he told her, “not someone that unleashes dogs on you.”
A tearful Hubert told Smith, “We good.”
Hubert then reunited with the other cast members and enjoyed a warm group hug.