Janelle Monáe talked about her personal struggles on "Red Table...

Janelle Monáe talked about her personal struggles on "Red Table Talk." Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

Actor-producer Jada Pinkett Smith on Wednesday made her first specific public comment about her husband Will Smith's notorious Oscars incident, in a text introduction to the season 5 premiere of her talk show "Red Table Talk," which featured guest Janelle Monáe discussing abandonment issues.

"Considering all that has happened in the last few weeks, the Smith family has been focusing on deep healing," Pinkett Smith, 50, wrote in an onscreen opening text. "Some of the discoveries around our healing will be shared at the table when the time calls." She signed the message on a second screen that promoted the upcoming episode.

Pinkett Smith previously had commented only obliquely, writing on Instagram on March 29 — two days after Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock onstage at the Academy Awards over a joke Rock had made — "This is a season for healing and I'm here for it."

The half-hour episode then proceeded to Monáe, whose book "The Memory Librarian," an anthology of science-fiction short stories she wrote with five collaborators, was published Tuesday. The eight-time Grammy Award nominee spoke of childhood-rooted insecurities.

"I've been doing a lot of healing," Monáe, 36, born Janelle Monáe Robinson, told the panel consisting of Pinkett Smith; her daughter, Willow Smith, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield Norris. "I was thinking back to when I first started and I was, like, man, as free as I was onstage, when I came offstage, I was still that scared little girl. Like, I'm not good enough. That was always in the back of my mind: 'Will they love me?' " She recalled coveting childhood friends' "long, silky hair” that had her "never feeling good enough" about herself.

As well, "My parents were not together and I always thought it was me, the reason why that …," she said, stopping mid-sentence. "Like, why am I not being taken care of by my dad? He had gotten on crack cocaine," a circumstance she has spoken of since at least 2012, "and that changed his life. It changed our relationship. Now he's completely sober, he's doing incredible, he's, like, my best friend. But this was when he was sick at this time, right? I was dealing with real rejection [and] abandonment issues. 'What if people leave me?' was a direct correlation to my dad. And always feeling like if I wasn't perfect, will they leave me?"

She went on to say she was learning to be less hard on herself. "I think my biggest heartbreak," she said, answering a fan's question, "is when I let myself down. … It's like I'm judging myself. … I've done that so many times after performances. Like, I look back at them [and think], 'This was wrong, this was wrong,' and that just breaks my heart. Why did I pile onto myself? It's enough that people that don't know me will have things to say, but I was joining in on that."

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