Looking back at the beginning. Will Smith‘s ex-wife Sheree Zampino opened up about her biggest challenges with Jada Pinkett Smith in the early days of the Red Table Talk hosts’ relationship with her now-husband.
“When Will and Jada got together, Jada wasn’t a mom,” Zampino, 54, exclusively revealed to Us Weekly on Monday, August 8. “So, she wasn’t experienced, she didn’t have a certain understanding. … So, that sometimes caused a little friction.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills personality and Will, who were married from 1992 to 1995, share son Trey, 29. After the I Am Legend star and Jada, 50, tied the knot in 1997, the duo welcomed two children together: Jaden Smith, 24, and Willow Smith, 41.
Zampino told Us that she was able to accept her son’s relationship with the Collateral actress because “she’s always been amazing to him” and explained how she coped with a period where Trey was calling Jada “mom.”
“In order for him to be calling her mom, he’s comfortable. And he’s probably also trying to fit into that family dynamic,” she explained. “So, let him go through his process, let him do that. Doesn’t take anything away from me. I’m very secure in my role in his life. I’m secure with being his mom. Nobody can undermine that.”
In May 2018, the Whoop Ash founder appeared as a guest on Red Table Talk and spoke candidly with her ex-husband’s wife. When Zampino began talking about her son meeting Jada for the first time, both women got emotional. “Thank you for loving my baby,” the Bravo personality told the Scream 2 actress. “On this side of things, my son could not have a better bonus mom.”
Jada, for her part, admitted to her “insensitivities” and “inconsideration in regards to you guys unwinding a marriage” at the beginning of her relationship with Will. The women laughed about a tense phone call they once had when the Sheree Elizabeth founder called her ex-husband’s house to speak to her son.
“You basically let me know, ‘I don’t really appreciate your tone,’ … and you hung up on me,” Zampino explained. “I called back and I happened to say, ‘Bitch, you living in the house I picked out.’ And you said, ‘It’s my house now.'”
Although her marriage to the King Richard actor didn’t work out, Zampino still speaks fondly of him. “Will is amazing. I mean, Will, to me, is a freak of nature,” she told Us. “He baffles me. I still don’t get this man. I still don’t.”
The New York native also addressed her ex-husband’s infamous moment at the 2022 Oscars in March, when he slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada’s bald head.
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“It was one of those moments where I just froze,” she said. Zampino added that she hopes Rock, 57, and Will make peace with each other. “I think that will provide not only healing for, for the two of them, but for so many people,” she said.
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