Pinkett Smith, who also has the autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, said the rapper kept the condition secret from the public until his murder in 1996.
“I don’t think Pac ever talked about his alopecia, but he also looked really good with a bald head,” she told People. “But that was during a time and during an era that you wouldn’t—he just wouldn’t talk about it.”
Pinkett Smith and Shakur knew each other from a performing arts program they attended as teens. She says his alopecia set in when he was about 20.
“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,” she said.
Shakur said that he was walking in Oakland, California, when he was stopped by police who accused him of jaywalking.
“They asked for my ID and sweated me about my name because my name is ‘Tupac,’” Shakur would later say in an interview. “My final words to them was ‘fuck y’all.’ Next thing I know I was in a chokehold passing out with cuffs on, headed for jail for resisting arrest.”
Shakur sued the police department for $10 million and the case was settled for $42,000.
Pinkett Smith went public with her own alopecia in 2018 and has been trying to raise awareness of it. In 2022, a joke that Chris Rock made at the Oscars about her lack of hair prompted Will Smith to run up on stage and clock the comedian.
Pinkett Smith has been dropping lots of revelations in recent days as she promotes the upcoming release of her memoir, Worthy. Among the bombshells: Shakur proposed to her while he was locked up on Rikers Island and she and Will Smith have been separated since 2016.