The pair became friends while they were both studying at the Baltimore School for the Arts and their friendship was depicted in the 2017 film All Eyez On Me. Their friendship forms a significant part of Pinkett Smith’s soon-to-be-released memoir, Worthy.
Pinkett Smith was diagnosed herself with the autoimmune condition, which causes unpredictable hair loss, in 2018 and has been a prominent advocate for awareness surrounding the condition. In contrast, she has now said that she doesn’t think Shakur “ever talked about” his own experience with it publicly.
The actress told People that Shakur’s symptoms began around 1991 after he was arrested for jaywalking by the Oakland Police Department in California. Shakur went on to sue the police department related to the incident but the lawsuit was later settled.
“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 recalled.
“I don’t think Pac ever talked about his alopecia, but he also looked really good with a bald head,” she continued. “But that was during a time and during an era that you wouldn’t — he just wouldn’t talk about it.”
However, Pinkett Smith added that she reckoned if Shakur would still alive, she was “sure” he would probably speak about his diagnosis.
Elsewhere, she also recently reflected on the time Shakur tried to propose to her when he was imprisoned in Rikers Island for sexual abuse charges in 1995.
In a recent appearance on the All The Smoke podcast, Pinkett-Smith said talking about Tupac in Rikers Island was “one of the most painful parts” for her while writing the book. “Seeing him there [in prison], the condition that he was in and having to leave him there, he was in bad shape,” she said.
She continued: “So when he asked me to get married, I knew at that time that: he needed somebody to do time with him which I was going to do anyway – you don’t have to marry me to do time, I’m here – but he needed a rock.
“Because of our friendship and because of everything we have been through together, he just wanted to feel that solidified foundation, you know? Because I promise you, he would have married and divorced me as soon as his ass left jail.”
asked by RollingOut if she regretted not pursuing a relationship with Tupac.“It just wasn’t possible,” she replied. “There was no chemistry between us.”