2Pac, despite his legendary status in the rap industry, grappled with a concealed health issue, according to his close friend Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith, who publicly shared her struggle with alopecia in 2018, recently disclosed that both she and 2Pac had this autoimmune disease, which leads to unpredictable hair loss, in common.
Smith pointed out that Tupac Shakur had never publicly discussed the alopecia he experienced. She shed light on the emotional turmoil he faced, explaining that his battle with the condition began in 1991. It was allegedly triggered when 2Pac was stopped for jaywalking by the Oakland Police Department and subjected to a beating. This incident led the rapper to file a $10 million civil suit, ultimately resulting in a $42,000 settlement.
“After his encounter with the police officers in Northern California, where he was beaten, he began to lose his hair. His alopecia patterns were far more severe than mine,” Smith revealed.
According to Smith, 2Pac chose to keep his alopecia hidden, noting that during that time and era, discussing such matters was uncommon. She firmly believes that if Shakur were alive today, he would openly discuss his condition.
Recently, during an interview on The Today Show with Hoda Kotb, Smith discussed her thoughts on Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap, which he delivered in her defense following a joke about her alopecia.
“I’m really shocked because, mind you, we haven’t referred to each other as husband and wife in a long time,” she said. “I’m like, ‘What is going on right now? ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth?’ I’m really worried for Will because I don’t know what’s going on.”
She clarified that her eye roll, observed before Will Smith took the stage to confront Chris Rock, was not a response to the joke but was a reaction to the potential jab at alopecia.
These revelations from the actress come in the midst of the press tour for her memoir, “Worthy.” In the book, she also recalls a moment when 2Pac proposed to her while he was serving time in prison in 1995.
“When I wrote about that in the book and had to speak my words for the Audible version, that was one of the more painful parts,” she shared. “Seeing him in the condition he was in and having to leave him there at Rikers Island. He was in bad shape. He asked me to marry him because he needed someone to go through that time with him, and I was going to do that regardless. He just needed a rock, and our friendship and shared experiences led him to seek that stability.”
She continued, “I promise you, he would have married me and divorced me as soon as he got out of prison. He wouldn’t have wanted me as his wife, but I think it was the mindset he was in at the time. He wrote me a lengthy letter, and even before his incarceration, he was undergoing a positive transformation. Being at Rikers shook him a little, I think.”