Will Smith is one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars. He's been on our television screens and in movie theaters, but somehow no one knew about his family's biggest secret. Here's the whole story.
Now This Is a Story
This is the story of one of the most famous movie stars of all time. Will Smith burst onto the scene when he was only 21 years old, starring in a sitcom based on his own life, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Since his acting debut, he has been in some of the biggest movies of all time, like Bad Boys, Men in Black, and Suicide Squad. He has Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a SAG Award, and the most coveted of them all - an Academy Award. It is safe to say that Mr. Smith is used to being in the spotlight. But it hasn't always been easy.
Kiss & Make Up
Like any celebrity, Will Smith has had his fair share of controversy throughout the years. While he was still on Fresh Prince, he had a feud with his co-star and his on-screen mom, Janet Hubert. She ultimately left the show, and the two didn't talk until they were reunited for the Fresh Prince Reunion.
Flash forward to 2013, after the actor was already well-established, he came back on the hot seat when cheating rumors arose. Leaked photos showed Smith and his Focus co-star, Margot Robbie, joking around. The rumors were dismissed as nothing. However, there was another entanglement that wasn't considered nothing...
The Other Man
Musician August Alsina revealed in an interview that he had had a romantic affair with Jada Pinkett Smith and was even given a blessing by Will Smith, according to Us Weekly. Initially, Pinkett Smith denied the claims made by Alsina. Then, the truth came out.
Smith came on his wife's show, Red Table Talk, and they discussed what really happened between them. Smith explained, "We decided we were going to separate for a period of time, and you go figure out how to make yourself happy, and I'll figure out how to make myself happy." They worked things out, and carried on with their lives. For now.
The Oscars Slap
Jada and Will were ride-or-die partners, and Smith showed that during the biggest night in Hollywood. During the 94th Academy Awards, he was nominated for his performance in King Richard. As comedian Chris Rock was delivering his opening monologue, he told a joke directed toward Jada. Once Will noticed how upset she was, he took action.
He stood up and slapped Chris Rock in the face. Literally. The scandal got Smith banned from the Academy for ten years and led to quite a few memes. Smith resigned from the Academy and issued an apology. As we said, the Hancock actor has been surrounded by his fair share of controversy.
A Hidden Reality
What else could anyone expect from one of the biggest movie stars in show biz? There was bound to be a scandal or two floating around. The lives of celebrities are constantly in magazines and photographed by the paparazzi. It felt like the public knew everything about them and what was happening.
Yet, there was always one part of Will Smith's life that no one knew about. A hidden truth that no one ever discussed. Will Smith has a son besides his children with Jada. Not only did he have another kid, but he was also married before meeting his now-wife. So, what went down?
The Chance Encounter
A young Will Smith had been a fan of Jada Pinkett. She was filming the sitcom A Different World. Smith's friend was a writer and got him permission to visit the set. So, he had gone to set hoping to meet the stunning actress. However, there was someone else also visiting set that day.
Sheree Zampino was also visiting someone on the set of A Different World that day. As fate would have it, it wasn't Pinkett that caught Smith's eye that day. It was Zampino. The Gettin' Jiggy With It rapper had suddenly fallen in love. Things moved pretty quickly for the couple after that.
A Wedding & Baby Shower
A year after they met, Will Smith and Sheree Zampino were married. They tied the knot in May 1992, and by the end of that year, they were parents. Zampino gave birth to Willard Carroll Smith III on November 11, 1992. Although, their son always went by the name Trey.
They were a young couple trying to navigate their new roles as parents while also maintaining their careers. The couple had so much going on that it was probably hard to keep track of everything. However, for Smith, it felt like life was finally coming together.
The Fresh Dad of Hollywood
It was like Will Smith was always destined to be a dad. However, it wasn't smooth sailing right away. He described what it was like having a newborn baby. Smith recalled, "I brought him home, we put him in the bassinet, it was like stark terror." What was going through his head?
Smith continued to explain to Jada during an episode of Red Table Talk, "I'm totally responsible for this life. I couldn't stop going and checking. I just cried so hard. It makes me teary right now." He also noted, "It hit me how fragile parenting is."
Star on the Rise
Will had been starring in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and he was becoming a star. As ratings and viewership continued to rise, Smith rose along with them. Many critics called it one of the best sitcoms of all time, but the young actor had bigger goals in mind.
He didn't want to be in the best sitcom. He wanted to be one of the biggest box-office successes in Hollywood. He landed a role in the drama Six Degrees of Separation and the action movie Bad Boys, opposite comedian Martin Lawrence. These movies marked his debut as a movie star.
An Abrupt Ending
Smith was on the rise, but there was something else in his life that was clearly on the decline - his marriage. Zampino shared on a Facebook video, "Will was becoming bigger and bigger with his career. I'm becoming smaller and smaller and smaller and … we didn't have the tools to make it work."
After only 3 years of marriage, Zampino and Smith ended their marriage to one another. Baby Trey was only 2 years old when his parents divorced in 1995. Although he was not old enough to remember his parents together, their separation impacted his life forever.
"The Ultimate Failure"
Even though he felt it was the right decision, it wasn't easy for Smith to end things with Zampino while they shared a child. He revealed to Jada on Red Table Talk, "With Sheree and with Trey, that was a really difficult time." Rightfully so, no matter what, separation is painful.
He continued, "Divorce was the worst thing in my adult life, divorce was the ultimate failure for me." That's a big statement. He added on, "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."
Getting used to the new family situation was not very easy. It was a lot of change for Sheree, Will, and their toddler Trey to go through. Smith wrote in an Instagram post in 2018, "It has not always been like this between Trey & I. We STRUGGLED FOR YEARS after my Divorce from his Mother."
Smith continued, "He felt betrayed & abandoned. It is a Wild Blessing to recover & restore a Loving Relationship with My Beautiful Son!" Like always, Smith kept it real about what went down with his family. While things may be great between them now, they had rough moments during Trey's childhood.
A Rocky Start
No wonder it was hard for Trey to adjust, Will introduced Jada into the picture almost directly after his divorce from Sheree. They met when Jada auditioned for a role in Fresh Prince. Meeting her made him realize he didn't want to be with his current wife anymore.
The couple waited until his divorce was final to start dating. They officially were an item in 1995. Zampino described when she found out Trey was meeting Jada on an episode of Hollywood Exes, "Will told me, and I wasn't happy." But Will was determined to redeem himself.
Father & Son
Will wanted to show just how much how boy meant to him. So, he did it in the way the rapper knew best. He made a song dedicated to Trey. He did a rendition of Bill Withers' song Just the Two of Us and obviously added his own Fresh Prince spin to it.
A 5-year-old Trey appeared in the music video alongside his dad. The video marked Trey's Hollywood debut. Afterward, Smith wrote a children's book, using the same name, about their relationship as father and son. Things may not be perfect, but they were family - and that's all that mattered. Plus, Trey was about to become a big bro.
A Blended Family
It wasn't just Trey in the situation anymore. He had two younger half-siblings now. After getting married in 1997, Jada and Will had two children. Jaden was born in July 1998, and Willow was born in October 2000. Their blended family was complete. But what about Jada and Sheree? Would they ever get along?
Not only did they build a family together, but Jada and Will also created a television show loosely based on their lives. All of Us aired for three seasons. The show found the new fiancée and the ex-wife at odds with each other and the man in the middle trying to make it work. So, what about Sheree and Jada?
"We have developed a really nice sisterhood, but it hasn't been easy along the way," Pinkett Smith said about her husband's ex-wife, Zampino, on Red Table Talk. Zampino came on the show as a guest, and the two women discussed their journey into understanding and making amends.
Pinkett Smith continued, "Trying to have a blended family and not really having a blueprint of that. We really had to figure it out along the way." Whatever hard work they put in, it certainly paid off. The entire family now hangs out, supports each other, and even goes on vacation together.
Not only do Sheree and Jada have a great relationship, but Trey shares one with his stepmother, as well. He calls her his bonus mom and frequently shows his gratitude for her on his Instagram page. For her birthday, he posted, "You've turned unconditional love into an Olympic sport."
For Trey's 30th birthday, Pinkett Smith wrote, "It's been a joy to watch you fly higher and higher and become more free and wise as you go. I love and admire you. Thank you for loving me! Happy, Happy 30th Birthday." Zampino even commented with the hashtag #BestBonusMomEver.
It was always family first with this blended family. At every movie premiere and in every family photo, Trey was always by his father's side. Also, Sheree has posted tons of throwbacks with Jada and Will's kids, Willow and Jaden. Everyone was included in the family festivities.
Will and Sheree have since maintained a close friendship in the years after their separation. She was there to celebrate his 50th birthday party in the Grand Canyon. When it was Zampino's birthday, Smith posted a tribute to her, saying, "best baby mama ever." Now that is a rare statement!
Like we said earlier, Will Smith got real candid about his struggles with Trey and how far they've come. In his Instagram post, he talked on camera about he made it a priority to take his kids separately to things so they can have time with their dad solo.
Trey had a big confession to make to his movie star dad. So when they were on a trip together to Abu Dhabi for the F1 Grand Prix, he gained the courage to also be super candid with his father. What did Trey have to say to his dad all these years after he was already an adult?
More Than a Father
Will recounted his conversation with Trey in his Instagram video. He said, "Me and him we hanging at the F1, and he just hit me with the, uh, said, 'You know what, Dad. I just realized you're not just my dad.' He paused, and he said, 'I'm pretty sure you're my best friend.'"
Will Smith took a second of hesitation in the video. He continued, "And I was like, 'Yeah man prolly. Prolly.'" It must have been such a proud moment for the Independence Day actor. From having a strained relationship with his eldest to being considered his best friend is a leap he most certainly was proud of.
A Unique Tradition
This dad loves to post about his children. In 2019, Will Smith posted for Trey's birthday and spilled a little secret. He revealed that every year for his birthday, they would shoot "The Treytrix." You heard that right. They would make home videos based on The Matrix.
This is definitely one perk of your dad being a movie star. Smith posted one of the videos on his Instagram. Trey would play the good guy who had to defend the family from the evil villain, aka his dad. Smith suggested in the post that maybe it was time to shoot another video! We've got our popcorn ready.
Sheree Zampino got real vulnerable on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith and shared, "One of the things that my son said to me... he felt that he wasn't loved." That must have been so awful for a mother to hear. She immediately went to comfort her son.
Zampino continued, "I said, 'Oh my God, your father loved you, what are you talking about?'" She was confident that it was his dad he was talking about. After all, it was Will who had started a new family with a different woman. Except, Trey wasn't talking about his father…
Zampino told Pinkett Smith, "[Trey] said, 'I'm not talking about him, I'm talking about you.'" It must have been a shock for her to hear that admission from her son. She explained, "I said, 'You didn't feel loved by me?' So we had a conversation. He said that I didn't care about his feelings. That's what it boiled down to."
Then, she admitted, "Maybe eight months ago, doing my work, I said to him, 'You're so right. I didn't care about your feelings, because I didn't care about mine.'" She said she was on "auto-pilot," which made her disregard her feelings and her son's.
Healing Old Wounds
Even though there may have been bumps along the road, the Smith clan has learned to be a family. It may be unconventional, and it may not be for everyone, but they have always put their family as the main priority. They have worked on their relationships with each other.
The entire family constantly posts on their social media about each other. From throwback photos to congratulations posts, they are always spreading the love. Especially when one family member is going through a hard time, they rally around them. It is family over everything.
"Work in Progress"
But despite looking out for one another, it hasn't been easy. After the Oscars drama, Smith spoke out. "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at… was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much… I reacted emotionally."
He continued to publicly apologize to Chris Rock, the Academy, the Williams family, and fans who were watching the ceremony all around the world. He ended the statement with, "I am a work in progress." Afterward, he disappeared from social media, taking a break from it all.
While Smith avoided the spotlight following the Oscars controversy and took a break from social media, his ex-wife shared a few words of support for her baby daddy. Zampino said, "I hope people allow him to be human. I really hope for that because I stand in support of him."
Jada also spoke out about what was dubbed "Slapgate." She said, "Now about Oscar night. My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have the opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile." When would the public hear from the King Richard actor again? The time was coming soon.
Then, it was time to make his return. In August, Smith had teased returning to Instagram with a meme video of a baby gorilla poking a bigger one with the caption, "Me trying to get back on social." They only had to wait another day to see their favorite star back on the 'gram.
The following day, Smith posted a video with his eldest son Trey. They were trying to capture a massive tarantula that was in the house. Smith was up on a chair and telling his eldest son to take care of it. Sheree commented, "No more family dinners at the house for me!" We support her decision.
Trey's Big Dreams
Like his younger siblings, Jaden and Willow, Trey also has a love for music and the arts. In 2020, he released his first album, Best Wishes. He's a DJ who can spin some good tunes. It seems like this family is filled with talent. He recently released the single Out of KNoWWhere at the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, his siblings also have careers in the entertainment business. Jaden acts, raps, sings, and models. While Willow also acts and sings and will be headlining Coachella 2023. Now all they need is a guitar player, and they can be a family band.
Today, Will Smith's children are more than siblings; they are friends. Trey, Jaden, and Willow post photos of each other on Instagram and like and comment on each other's photos. They grew up together - and it shows how much they love each other in whatever they do.
They also make appearances together. For example, mom and bonus mom Jada Pinkett Smith had all three kids on her Red Table Talk Facebook show. They went on the show to discuss slavery and the importance of learning about their history. Don't worry, Will was also in attendance.
There's Always Love
They have been through their trials together. Most importantly, the entire family has been there to support each other, whether it is Trey's music career or Will after his Oscars controversy. The Smith family continues to be an amazing example of how to learn and be a strong family unit.
So, what's next for them? Well, Sheree has joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. New episodes of Red Table Talk continue to air. Jaden and Willow are rocking the fashion and music world. As for Trey and his famous dad? We're sure there will be way more to see from them...