The Untold Truth Of Caleeb Pinkett

You might think you know all there is to know about the family of Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, even more so following the acres of coverage they received in the wake of that joke and that slap. The pair have never been afraid to disclose information — sometimes a little too much — about their private lives, and their precocious kids, Jaden and Willow, (and even Jada's mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris) have been just as happy spilling the beans about the ins and outs of life in one of Hollywood's most high-profile clans.

But there is another relation who's also a mover and shaker in the industry that you may not have heard too much about. Indeed, Jada's brother, Caleeb Pinkett, has kept a relatively low profile compared to the rest of the Smith clan. And yet you could say that he's just as influential in the entertainment world.

From difficult upbringings to behind-the-scenes achievements, here's a look at the untold truth of a man who prefers to let his behind-the-scenes talents do the talking.

Caleeb Pinkett's father died in 2010

So how exactly are Caleeb Pinkett and Jada Pinkett Smith related, you may wonder? Well, the "Gotham" star was born in 1971 to Adrienne Banfield-Norris and Robsol Grant Pinkett Jr. Her parents ended up divorcing, but nine years later, the latter fathered a second child who'd go on to enjoy Hollywood success as well.

Although they grew up separately with their respective single mothers — Caleeb in Orange County, California and Jada in Baltimore — the two half-siblings both still felt the effects of their dad's drug addiction. Even so, the pair were understandably left devastated when Robsol died of an overdose in 2010.

In 2021, Caleeb paid tribute to his pop on Instagram with a snap of the pair alongside half-sister Jada in happier times. He captioned it, "On this beautiful day neither of us knew that this would be the last photo the three of us would ever take together. #RIP Dad cherish your loved ones." The producer then added the hashtags "tomorrowisntpromised," "family," "loveislove," and perhaps most tellingly of all, "forgiveness."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

He and Jada Pinkett Smith have a 'shared source of pain'

In 2018, Caleeb Pinkett gave a rare televised interview on — where else? — his half-sister's chat show, "Red Table Talk." Like most of the conversations on the Facebook Watch show, things soon got very real. While discussing their father, Robsol Pinkett Jr., who died in 2010 following a lengthy substance abuse battle, Jada Pinkett Smith revealed (via USA Today) that she and Caleeb have a "shared source of pain" about their childhood: "We had a lot of resentment. We had that feeling like we had to be responsible for him, but he never had to be responsible for us, and that was a hard pill for me to swallow."

In the most emotional part of the chat, Jada also disclosed that she found about her dad's death from her half-brother: "The most difficult part of him dying like that is because he and I had had a horrendous fight when I found out that he relapsed. I was like, 'I don't owe you nothing. You didn't do s*** for me, you didn't do s*** for Caleeb. I don't owe you nothing.' It was one of those."

Caleeb also shared a painful memory of his own, recalling the time his father said, "I'd rather get high than be your father." The multi-talent added, "That's hardcore. But there was a reason behind it for him, and that reason was 'I'm sick.'"

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Caleeb Pinkett is supported by his half-sibling

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith may sometimes appear incapable of knowing when to stay quiet. But when it comes to working with the latter's half-brother, they have, in fact, proved they can sometimes take a backseat role.

In a 2020 interview with Baltimore Magazine to promote "Charm City Kings," a drama based on the dirt bike documentary, "12 O'Clock Boys," producer Caleeb Pinkett revealed that the power couple largely stayed out of his business in their roles as executive producers: "[Jada and Will] were very supportive of what we were trying to do. They were also conscious in choosing not to come and be on the set because they really wanted me to take the reins."

Caleeb admitted that he did get a little bit of help from his half-sister, but that it was fully appreciated. When asked about the authenticity of all the dirt bike action in the Sundance hit, he replied, "Ninety-eight percent of riders in the film are real Baltimore riders. Jada sent me the Instagram of [renowned local rider Wheelie Queen] and told me to put her in the movie." But he also acknowledged that a rider named Wheelie Wayne was far more instrumental in securing talent, adding, "He's the godfather. If he says show up, riders are showing up."

The producer stepped up to the plate after his father's death

Caleeb Pinkett may have had a turbulent relationship with his late father, Robsol Pinkett Jr. But according to his half-sister, Jada Pinkett Smith, the movie producer was determined to make sure he had an appropriate send-off.

While appearing on Jada's Facebook Watch chat show, "Red Table Talk," (via Yahoo! Movies) Caleeb was praised by the host for stepping up to the plate in the wake of Robsol's death in 2010: "He had to go identify the body, he had to take care of the funeral arrangements, and to have that happen and I didn't have to take care of it? He had it."

The "Girls Trip" star, who is nine years older than her half-brother, revealed that taking on such a responsibility finally helped her see Caleeb as a man. "The way he handled it was with so much strength and so much grace, and that's when he really grew up to me in that moment. To have my little brother be able to step up for me was an amazing moment," she shared.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

He has called time on his acting career

While Caleeb Pinkett is still a busy man in Hollywood as a producer, with no fewer than six projects in the pipeline for 2022 alone, he appears to have called time on his acting career. You have to go as far back as 2011, and his role as Detective Antoine Ajayi in the TNT medical drama "Hawthorne," for the last time the multi-talent appeared on screen.

Before that, Caleeb had racked up nine different credits as an actor, appearing in the short film "The 7th Commandment," taking minor roles in the movies "Lakeview Terrace," "The Human Contract," "The Heart Specialist," and "In Your Eyes," and guesting on TV shows "10-8: Officers on Duty" and "Cuts."

Caleeb's acting debut, however, came during an episode of the original "Charmed." The star showed up in the 2003 episode titled "Little Monsters" as a robber and hostage taker named Virgil.

Caleeb Pinkett has often worked with his half-sister

As the saying goes, "It's not what you know, but who you know." Although Caleeb Pinkett is now an established name in his own right, he has undoubtedly benefited from being related to one of the most high-profile families in modern-day Hollywood.

Yes, Caleeb landed his first, and only, major recurring role on "Hawthorne," the TNT medical drama that just happened to star his half-sister, Jada Pinkett Smith, as the president of a hospital. The multi-talent appeared on camera in a five-episode stint as Detective Antoine Ajayi and also served as co-producer on ten episodes of the show, which aired for three seasons at the beginning of the 2010s.

This isn't the only time that Caleeb has mixed his personal and professional life, either. Just two years later, he took on an executive producer role on "After Earth," the M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi film that featured both his brother-in-law, Will Smith, and nephew, Jaden Smith. We can't imagine that this particular project comes up much at family gatherings, though. The 2013 movie bombed with critics and audiences alike, and in an interview with Esquire two years later, Will described the film as the "most painful failure" of his career.

He's a married man

While his half-sister, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her husband, Will Smith, are more than happy to share the most intimate details about their relationship, Caleeb Pinkett is a little more discreet about his own love life.

In fact, pretty much next to nothing is known about the producer's marriage, other than the fact that his wife is named Patricia. And good luck finding photos of the pair online, too. The only time they have seemed to grace the red carpet together was for the premiere of "After Earth," the 2013 sci-fi flop that Caleeb produced, and his little-used Instagram account is entirely absent of any romantic snaps, too.

The multi-talent has, however, posted a handful of pics of the pair's daughters, including one at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and another of a daddy date night with his youngest. Caleeb captioned the latter, "I so LOVE my baby girl and she actually requested this night and I will cherish it! I love you Caila a la Luna."

Caleeb Pinkett gave Meek Mill his big acting break

Following in the footsteps of Eminem, 50 Cent, and, of course, Will Smith, Meek Mill became the latest rapper to pivot into acting in 2020 with a role in "Charm City Kings," a tale of urban bike culture based on the documentary "12 O'Clock Boys." And the "Going Bad" hitmaker has Caleeb Pinkett to thank for giving him the opportunity to show off his thespian skills.

In an interview with WENN (via Ace Showbiz), the film's director revealed that Pinkett insisted on casting Mill as gang leader Blax following his release from prison in 2018. Referring to Mill, who had served time for a probation violation, Angel Manuel Soto said, "His struggles and challenges helped the performance and the whole film, because of his commitment to the story. Meek totally delivered. That also speaks to the genius of Caleeb in seeing potential in someone who never acted before."

Pinkett also told Variety that he was just as determined to use Mill's music on the Sundance hit: "I was a month out from shooting and all of the sudden he was released. It was crazy, but we wanted Meek's songs in the movie no matter what, because his sound, especially those two records in particular that we have in the film, are synonymous with that bike culture that our movie is about."

Caleeb Pinkett has faced a backlash of his own

Instrumental in getting the documentary "12 O'Clock Boys" adapted into a feature film, producer Caleeb Pinkett then had to face his fair share of backlash when it premiered in 2020. The story of a middle-school student who joins a dirt bike group just as interested in thieving as wheelies, "Charm City Kings" was criticized by some West Baltimore natives for stereotyping its street culture.

Brittany Young, founder of the B-360 organization, which helps dirt ride bikers better themselves, was one such voice, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "I think where the issue comes in is the city of Baltimore allowed a film like this to take place in the same community that does not get investment, with the same group of riders who they've ostracized and demonized and do not have a space in this city to ride [in]." She also believed the film would "inspire more people to misunderstand something about dirt bike riding because of the same perpetuated narrative."

Pinkett leapt to the defense of his labor of love, telling the same publication that it had been misinterpreted: "The movie is not about dirt bike culture. The movie is about a kid and which way he's going to go as a man. This is a film about young, Black kids in poor neighborhoods and the decisions that they're forced to make versus children that grow up in non-poor neighborhoods that have means."

Several of the producer's projects have stalled

Caleeb Pinkett may have helped bring everything from "Hawthorne" and "Hala" to "Charm City Kings" and "Cobra Kai" to the screen as a producer. But not every project he's been involved in has enjoyed the same journey.

In 2010, for example, he came on board a televised spin-off of his brother-in-law Will Smith's hit rom-com "Hitch." His half-sister, Jada Pinkett Smith, also joined him as executive producer for the show described as a "workplace comedy that explores dating and sexual politics." But sadly, the single-camera sitcom never made it past the development stage.

It was a similar story for the biblical adaptation "The Legend of Cain," which was first reported on that same year. Caleeb wrote the script for the film that was poised to have Will play the lead character. But more than a decade later, there's still no sign of the movie coming to fruition. Unsurprisingly, another planned collaboration with the Fresh Prince, a small-screen version of "After Earth," also failed to materialize following the 2013 sci-fi film's disastrous performance at the box office.

He was instrumental in Cobra Kai's success

Several years after his nephew, Jaden Smith, took over from Ralph Macchio in the big screen reboot of '80s VHS staple "The Karate Kid," Caleeb Pinkett decided he wanted in on some of the "wax on, wax off" action. Alongside Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, and James Lassiter, the multi-talent was instrumental in getting "Cobra Kai" into production.

As Pinkett explained to BEN, he took a gamble in choosing where the nostalgia-fest would air: "YouTube offered to go straight to the series in the room. And I've always been taught take yes for an answer. ... We also went to other streaming platforms. They were like, 'We want to do script first. And then we'll decide, go to pilot, then we'll see.' And I was like, 'No.'"

It's fair to say the gamble paid off. "Cobra Kai" became the breakout hit of YouTube Red and was acquired by Netflix in 2020 for its third season and beyond, where it's developed an even bigger following, something that Pinkett appeared to foreshadow happening, too. Referring to the streaming platforms that missed out the first time round, the producer added, "Now they're all like, 'Oh I heard YouTube said they were going to stop doing scripted stuff. So you know, if they let it go, call us.'"

Caleeb Pinkett supported JoJo Siwa's no-kiss stance

In the summer of 2021, JoJo Siwa made headlines for refusing to film a kissing scene in "Bounce," a movie adaptation of Megan Shull's young adult novel about a teenager who wishes to swap families during the holiday season. And the former Nickelodeon star had the full backing of its executive producer, Caleeb Pinkett, too!

Siwa, who just six months earlier had revealed she was part of the LGBTQ+ community, argued that fans would become confused if they saw her kissing a man on screen, telling Entertainment Weekly, "I'm not about it. I'm trying to get it pulled so bad. It'll happen. It'll get pulled." And just a few days later, the one-time tween idol happily revealed on Twitter that — like her character — she'd also gotten her wish. "My friends at Paramount and my friend Caleeb Pinkett are 1000% supportive of me and assured me that I don't have to do anything I don't wanna do ever!!! I'm so excited to make the movie 'Bounce' and couldn't have better people to make it with!" she wrote.

Unfortunately, the kissing scene wasn't the only thing about the project that got pulled. In 2022, Variety confirmed that Siwa had opted out and that the film itself was no longer on Paramount's development slate.

He's all about the relatability

Although he is a member of one of the richest, most high-profile and — some would say — oddest Hollywood families, Caleeb Pinkett still seems determined to keep his feet on the ground. It's why the producer insisted that 2020 movie "Charm City Kings" should be filmed on the streets of Baltimore, and as authentically as possible, too.

In an interview with KultureHub to promote the bike culture drama, Pinkett said, "Telling this kind of story, to me, is extremely important to reach the majority of African American people, where they can see a character that they really relate to. They know that kid, and they know his friend, and they know that neighborhood, and they know that mama. ... To bring light to what most people are experiencing daily, was the most important part for me."

But Pinkett, who grew up in California, acknowledged that there were drawbacks to his quest for relatability: "Baltimore is Baltimore. Residents don't care about you making a movie. Some are happy, others are like 'I don't care, I'm walking through this shot, so what?' Talking loud in the scene, you're like 'ay can you please be quiet?' They're like 'No! You gon' give me some money? Hell no!' I'm like, 'Oh lord have mercy.'"

Caleeb Pinkett would rather be liked than rich

Although his specific net worth remains under wraps, we can't imagine Caleeb Pinkett is ever short of a dollar. Not only has the multi-talent produced several major motion pictures and Netflix's most popular karate-based young adult dramedy, he's also a close half-brother to multi-millionaire Jada Pinkett Smith.

However, it seems as though Caleeb would happily give up some of his fortune to boost his Mr. Nice Guy reputation. In a 2019 interview with BEN, the Hollywood hotshot explained his mentorship with brother-in-law Will Smith showed him how not to conduct himself within the industry: "I got to see different — some of the biggest directors, producers, writers in the world, studio heads, and some of them are really great people, and others are less. And I saw the ones I did not want to be like."

And Caleeb believes that he practices what he preaches. "I have a philosophy for how I like people treated on my sets. ... I don't care how much money you have. If people don't like you, the hell is that? I would much rather make less money and people be like, 'That's my dude. If Caleeb ever needs me to work on that movie, I'm there for that guy,'" he revealed.