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Sheree Zampino Says She ‘Froze’ When Ex Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock: I ‘Couldn’t Make Sense of It’ (Exclusive)

A moment she’ll never forget. Sheree Zampino was as shocked as anyone when her ex-husband Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, but she has hope for a reconciliation between the two men.

Related: Will Smith and Ex-Wife Sheree Zampino's Relationship Timeline

“It was one of those moments where I froze,” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 54, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, August 8. “The first thing you do is you try to make sense of it in the [moment]. And when it doesn’t make sense in the moment … we didn’t even really have time. I didn’t even deal with it.”

The New York native said that she still “couldn’t make sense of it” later on, but she thinks a public reunion of the Oscar winner, 53, and the comedian, 57, would be a “powerful” moment.

“When Chris and Will can come together and heal in a public way and extend forgiveness to one another?” she mused to Us. “Do you know how many people that’s gonna help and set free? So, I see the opportunity in it.”

Zampino, who was married to Smith from 1992 to 1995, celebrated her ex-husband’s big win after the Academy Awards in March. “Congratulations @willsmith – you are more than deserving!” she wrote via Instagram at the time. The reality star — who shares son Trey, 29, with Smith — didn’t attend the ceremony, but she later posed with the Men in Black star and his trophy, joking that the statue was her new boyfriend.

Sheree Zampino Says She Froze When Ex Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock
Sheree Zampino, Will Smith and Chris Rock. Shutterstock (3)

Last month, the King Richard actor apologized to Rock in a lengthy video shared via Instagram. The Philadelphia native said he reached out to the Saturday Night Live alum since the Oscars incident, but Rock told him that he wasn’t yet willing to discuss the situation.

Related: Will Smith and Chris Rock's 2022 Oscars Incident: Everything to Know

“The message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk,” Smith claimed in the video. “And when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

An insider later told Us, however, that Rock has “no immediate plans to have a one-on-one” with the “Miami” rapper. “He’s moving forward,” the source said earlier this month.

Despite any lingering tension, Zampino says her ex is doing “amazing” in the wake of the controversial moment. “I think the reason why he’s so successful is because he’s done it with a lot of dignity, he’s done it with a lot of grace,” she told Us. “Will is always gonna be OK.”

Related: Will Smith’s Family Guide: See the Star’s Children and Their Mothers

The Whoop Ash founder previously said she doesn’t think the Ali star and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, watch RHOBH, but if she continues her stint with the show, she’s ready to let cameras in on her relationship with Trey. (Zampino joined the cast as a “friend of” for season 12 of the Bravo series, which premiered in May.)

“I love our dynamic. I love the relationship that we have as mother and son,” she told Us, adding that she thinks Trey would agree to be on the show if she asked. “I don’t know how often he would do it, but I think he would be game.”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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