Jada Pinkett-Smith has made another revelation about her late friend Tupac Shakur.
In this week’s PEOPLE cover story, Smith states that the iconic rapper also battled alopecia, an autoimmune disorder characterized by unpredictable hair loss.
“I don’t think Tupac ever talked about the alopecia he suffered from,” she said.
The actress initially shared her alopecia diagnosis in 2018 and has since been a leading advocate for the condition. Smith revealed that Shakur had similar hair loss symptoms, which she believes started for the late rapper in 1991 when he was arrested for jaywalking in California.
“After he was in Northern California with the police officers that beat him up, he started losing his hair. And his alopecia patterns were far more extreme than mine,” Smith recalls.
Additionally, Smith claims that Shakur chose to keep his alopecia a confidential matter. She states this was primarily because of the societal pressures that existed during that period.
“I don’t think Pac ever talked about his alopecia, but he also looked really good with a bald head,” Smith adds. “But that was during a time and during an era that you wouldn’t — he just wouldn’t talk about it.”
Nevertheless, Smith expresses that she hopes that discussions revolving around her alopecia, as well as Shakur’s experience, will continue to contribute to heightened awareness about the condition.
“I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity and we’ll continue to have the opportunity to talk about how alopecia affects me,” she says. “And I’m just hoping that it’ll give people the freedom to talk about how and just not have shame around it and not to have such a stigma. And there’s a lot of shame around alopecia.”