When Sheree Zampino Celebrated Her Birthday, Will Smith Revealed His True Feelings About His Ex-Wife

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Will Smith split from his first wife Sheree Zampino in 1995. But despite a great deal of time having passed since then, the actor still knew exactly what he wanted to say when his former spouse celebrated her birthday in 2018. And Will’s words have caused quite a stir among his fans.

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Of course, Will has found love again since the end of his marriage to Sheree. He has been married to Jada Pinkett Smith since 1997, in fact, with the pair having exchanged vows at a stunning historic home near to Jada’s native Baltimore. And Will evidently still cherishes his wife, since he has referred to her on Instagram as his “queen.”

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Furthermore, when Will and Jada celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in December 2017, Will used the occasion to talk about what he had learned from their marriage. The tribute to his wife was posted to Instagram and accompanied by an adorable snap of Jada and Will together.

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“Love is like gardening… I have learned to focus on helping you to blossom into what you want to be – into what you were born to be rather than demanding that you become what my fragile ego needs you to be,” Will wrote alongside the photo. “I’ve learned to take pleasure in nourishing your dreams rather than wrestling with you to fulfill my selfish needs and satiate my insecurities.”

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Will went on to say that he had learned that love was about “listening,” “giving” and “freedom.” And he ended the romantic post by writing to Jada, “Happy anniversary, my queen. I am forever devoted to nurturing your deepest truth.”

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However, there have been bumps in the road along the way for Will and Jada. The pair have been plagued by rumors of affairs, for instance, along with speculation that they will split. In 2015 Will addressed this latter point, writing on Facebook, “So, in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over and over-again-ness… Jada and I are… not getting a divorce!”

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What’s more, there have been a slew of news stories discussing whether the couple have an open relationship. Those all started after Jada said in 2013 that both she and her husband could do whatever they wanted within their relationship. The actress would later clarify what she had meant by that remark, however.

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Setting the record straight in a post on Facebook in 2013, Jada explained, “Here is how I will change my statement… Will and I both can do whatever we want because we trust each other to do so. This does not mean we have an open relationship… this means we have a grown one.”

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And for the most part, life has been good to the couple. After getting his start as a rapper, Will rocketed to fame with his role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The hit sitcom aired six seasons from 1990 to 1996 and earned Will a legion of fans.

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Hollywood beckoned for Will, too, and so he would ultimately turn his attention to the silver screen. In 1995 he was cast as a Miami detective in Bad Boys, with the actor following this role up with plum parts in Independence Day and Men in Black.

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Will’s more recent films, meanwhile, include 2016’s Suicide Squad and Bright, which was released in 2017. The actor has several projects in the pipeline, too, such as Gemini Man and the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin. And he even has a few trophies on his shelf to boot, including a Hollywood Film Award for 2015’s Concussion.

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Plus, of course, Will has also enjoyed a stellar music career, with best-selling albums such as 1999’s Willennium and 2005’s Lost and Found. He has additionally topped charts around the world with his singles “Men in Black” and “Wild Wild West.”

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And while Will’s music career has taken a back seat to his screen work in recent years, the four-time Grammy winner returned to the charts in 2018 thanks to a collaboration with Marc Anthony and Bad Bunny. The track – “Está Rico” – was unveiled in September that year.

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It’s worth noting, too, that Jada has also achieved plenty in her own right. She started out with parts in U.S. sitcoms such as Doogie Howser, M.D. and True Colors before making the leap to the big screen. One of her first major film roles was in 1996’s The Nutty Professor, alongside Eddie Murphy.

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And The Nutty Professor was a roaring success as well, raking in close to $274 million worldwide. Jada then took on other film roles and parts in TV series such as Gotham before revealing yet another string to her bow. In 2018 the actress began to host her very own web television show, Red Table Talk.

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And as many know, Will and Jada have two children together: son Jaden and daughter Willow. Jada has made it clear, too, what is most important in her life. “My family is my priority. If [that] is stable and everyone has what they need, then I look at a way to fit in a creative endeavor,” she told Haute Living magazine in 2015.

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As it turns out, working and parenting have sometimes co-existed for Jada and Will. You see, both Jaden and Willow have followed in the footsteps of their famous parents and have been carving out their own careers in the limelight – with the result being that both have appeared on screen alongside their film-star father.

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Jaden got his break at the tender age of eight, in fact, when he starred with Will in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness. And alongside acting, the younger Smith has also branched out into music; he released his debut album Syre in 2017.

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Meanwhile, Willow joined her father to star in sci-fi drama I Am Legend. Indeed, she has showed somewhat of a talent for acting and picked up a Young Artist Awards nomination in 2008 for her role in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. But Willow is perhaps best known for her music after bursting onto the scene in 2010 with the catchy track “Whip My Hair.”

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Not everyone realizes, however, that there is a fifth person in the Smith family. Before he ever got together with Jada, Will was married to Sheree Zampino for three years. And she and the actor had a son together: Willard Carroll “Trey” Smith III.

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Will and Sheree had first got together in the early 1990s, when he was making his name as the Fresh Prince and she was studying fashion design. The romance progressed swiftly, too, as the young couple tied the knot in May 1992 before welcoming their baby boy a matter of months later.

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However, as time went by, cracks started to appear in the couple’s relationship. During a 2018 episode of Red Table Talk, Will even admitted that he had once broke down and cried in a restaurant because he knew he was with the wrong woman. On that occasion, he and Sheree had gone out to eat.

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“I remember I had to get up from dinner when I had a realization that I wasn’t with the person I was supposed to be with,” Will explained on camera. He added, “I went in the bathroom and I broke down in tears. I was sitting in a stall, and I was crying uncontrollably and laughing.”

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Perhaps inevitably, then, Will and Sheree’s marriage fell apart, with the pair ultimately divorcing in 1995. And Sheree would later give an explanation for why the relationship had imploded, chalking it up in part to the couple’s ages.

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In 2016 Sheree said in a video posted to Facebook that things had not worked out between her and Will because, simply, they had been “so young” while they had been together. She added, “Marriage is not easy, especially at that age.”

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Sheree continued, “It’s just a lot of responsibility. [Will] was becoming bigger and bigger with his career, [while I was] becoming smaller and smaller and smaller. I just, I didn’t have the tools – we didn’t have the tools to make it work.”

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But despite there having been a good amount of water under the bridge since the divorce, Will has since shown just how much he still cares about his ex-wife. When Sheree celebrated her birthday on November 17, 2018, for example, the star posted a throwback picture of the former couple and Trey to Instagram. The adorable snap shows them holding their infant son.

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And Will’s message was touching, too. “Happy [birthday Sheree],” he began in the message that accompanied the vintage photograph. He also chose to dub his former partner “the best baby mama ever” before ending his note with “I Love You, Ree-Ree.”

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Will wasn’t the only member of the Smith family to acknowledge Sheree’s big day, however. Jada posted a message of her own on Instagram, too, in which she called Will’s ex “a gift.” This was accompanied by a photo depicting both Jada and Sheree both laughing together.

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In her words to Sheree, Jada wrote, “Happy birthday, Sheree! Whew, chile! It’s been a hell of a journey between us, and I’m grateful.” She added, “You have been the provider of many ego deaths and profound lessons.”

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Happily, though, Jada added to Will’s former spouse, “And through it all, I’m so happy we’ve found space to laugh together, cry together and share joy together within our blended family. You’ve been a gift, [and] I’m wishing you the world.”

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And the touching posts from both Will and Jada have gone down a storm with fans, with some going on to comment on the positive example that the adults are setting. “[Will], you should do classes on co-parenting,” one individual wrote on Instagram.

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Another fan gushed on Will’s Instagram, “We need this… every day in our communities and it begins with men taking the lead… Thank you.” And there were compliments to Jada from one of her followers, too. In their comment, they wrote of her message to Sheree, “Wow, this is incredible. We need more of this in blended families.”

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Indeed, Sheree, Will and Jada have integrated their families, with Trey, Jaden and Willow all having been raised as siblings. The trio of children are apparently close, too, as Sheree would reveal in a 2010 interview.

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When speaking to radio show Marketing Ministry, Sheree said of her and Will’s offspring, “Our kids don’t refer to each other… they don’t refer to each other as half-brother and half-sister. That concept is so foreign to them. They are brothers and sister – period.”

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But while by all accounts Trey, Willow and Jaden get along well, the relationship between Will’s first son and his famous father hasn’t always been smooth. Indeed, the actor himself would admit as much in a post he added to his Instagram page in November 2018.

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That social media update included a video of Will and Trey spending some quality time together in Abu Dhabi. And in the clip, Will reveals, “We been hanging. And usually I take my kids separately on stuff just so they have their individual daddy time.”

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“So… me and [Trey were] hanging at the F1,” Will continues in the video. “And he just hit me with, ‘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.’”

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In a caption accompanying the video, however, Will explained, “It has not always been like this between Trey and I. We struggled for years after my divorce from his mother. He felt betrayed and abandoned.” The actor added, “It is a wild blessing to recover and restore a loving relationship with my beautiful son.”

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And it appears that it’s not just Will who is thrilled that he and Trey have ironed out the kinks in their relationship. Indeed, Trey himself shared the same video on Instagram along with a message to his famous dad. “Awww, shucks… [love] you too, big guy,” he wrote.

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