Still there for him. Will Smith had an eventful time at the 2022 Oscars — and his blended family supported him every step of the way.
As the 94th Academy Awards were happening live at the Dolby Theater on Sunday, March 27, Smith’s ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, and the former couple’s son, Trey, sent plenty of positive wishes to the nominee.
“Happy Oscars Sunday to the fam and eternity,” the actor’s eldest son said during an Instagram video with Zampino. After his mother, 54, asked who he thought would win for best actor, the 29-year-old responded, “It’s probably a rhetorical question.”
Smith, 53, and Zampino were married from 1992 to 1995. The Suicide Squad star later moved on with Jada Pinkett Smith after the pair met when she auditioned to play his girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Smith and Pinkett Smith, 50, tied the knot in a secret wedding ceremony in 1997. They share son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 21.
The I Am Legend star later opened up about the regrets he continued to have about his first marriage. “Divorce was the worst thing in my adult life,” he explained during an appearance on his spouse’s Red Table Talk in June 2020. “Divorce was the ultimate failure for me. I’ve been hurt a lot in my adult life, but I don’t think anything touches the failure of getting divorced from my 2-year-old son’s mother.”
Since their split, Smith and Zampino stayed on friendly terms as they focused on coparenting. The upcoming Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star continued to praise her ex-husband’s big win on Monday, March 28, after Smith made headlines for an altercation with Chris Rock.
During the awards show, Rock, 57, made a joke where he referred to Pinkett Smith as G.I. Jane due to her shaved head. Smith, for his part, walked up to the stage and slapped the comedian after his wife rolled her eyes at the comment. The Girls Trip actress has previously revealed that she has alopecia.
“Will Smith just f—king smacked the s—t out of me,” the South Carolina native said in unaired footage that later circulated online. Smith was heard saying, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.” In response, Rock attempted to laugh the situation off before promising not to mention Jada.
Following his win for King Richard, Smith apologized for the shocking altercation. “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse,” he said during his emotional speech. “You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s OK.”
He continued: “I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. … Thank you for this moment. And thank you on behalf of Richard and the entire Williams family. Thank you. I hope the academy invites me back.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences later shared a statement seemingly in reference to the situation. “The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” the organization tweeted. “Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
The day after the Oscars, Smith released an extended statement to express his regret and apologize to Rock directly. “I was out of line and I was wrong,” he wrote in a lengthy statement. “I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
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Scroll down to see moments from Will’s big night with his loved ones: