Jada Pinkett Smith was good friends with the ‘Dear Mama’ hitmaker since they both attended the Baltimore School of the Arts together but she admits his death still affects her greatly, over 20 years on.
Speaking in a preview for the next episode of her ‘Red Table Talk’, she said: ”That was a huge loss in my life, because he was one of those people that I expected to be here. My upset is more anger. You know what I’m saying? Because I feel that he left me. And I know that’s not true, and it’s a very selfish way to think about it, but I really did believe that he was going to be here for the long run.”
Tupac was killed aged 25 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1996.
Meanwhile, the 46-year-old actress – who has Jaden, 19, and Willow, 17, with her husband Will Smith – previously admitted Tupac’s death made her ”afraid of fame”.
She explained: ”When I think about what I had going on when I was younger, I do think I was really afraid of fame. I really worked hard to keep everything small. I saw how Tupac got devoured by having fame too fast. I watched what happened to him and, in all honesty, I think it scared me. For a long period of time, I really tried to put a cap on fame. I’ll never forget when Michael Mann called me for ‘Ali’, I was like, I have no interest in being in your movie.
“I look back on things like that in my youth and think, ‘What a freakin’ idiot you were!’ But I realise now I was really scared … I was afraid of the success. Look, I can deal with the failures. Trust me. Falling on my ass and getting up, I’m good at that one. It’s the other stuff.”