These two have come a long way!
During Wednesday’s Red Table Talk on Facebook with guest Jana Kramer, Jada Pinkett Smith invited her husband Will Smith‘s first wife Sheree Zampino to join in on the discussion. Pretty timely since they were discussing forgiveness! Before digging into the One Tree Hill alum’s cheating scandal with her ex Mike Caussin, the women opened up about how they managed to form a “sisterhood” after a “messy” first few years! They even proved how much of a blended family they are today — and it might just surprise you!
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To begin, Jada admitted she was “in the picture too soon” after marrying Will two years after his split from Sheree. Looking back, she said the “biggest misconception” she had at the time was that when Will and Sheree signed the divorce papers, that meant their relationship was done. She quickly realized it “ain’t ever done” when children are in the picture, saying:
“This woman is a part of this family. [I was] not only taking on Trey, but Sheree is coming along too. Looking back, I definitely would have taken a beat as far as putting myself in the dynamic of you guys [and] let you two flesh out whatever you need to figure out. I didn’t understand it.”
Thankfully, they were able to muddle their way through the tough times and learned to create a strong bond, she continued:
“We have developed a really nice sisterhood. but it hasn’t been easy. Trying to have a blended family and not really have a blueprint for that, we really had to figure it out along the way. For me, it really was about maturity [and] not understanding the marital dynamic.”
Jada insisted it “definitely took some forgiveness” on Sheree’s part since she “really crossed the line” at times. She recalled once trying to co-parent Trey after learning he had misbehaved on a play date — which did NOT go over well! At the time, Jada didn’t have her kids, Jaden24, or Willow, 21, yet, so Sheree felt she was overstepping her role by bringing up Trey’s bad behaviour. Sheree recalled:
“It was out of line, but you didn’t mean any harm. You were like, ‘Listen, we gotta get [Trey] right.”’
But Sheree wasn’t innocent, either! She was also playing games to get the upper hand on the other woman! One time when she visited Will and Jada’s new home, she apparently marched into their master bedroom to scope it out — something the Matrix Revolutions star was super uncomfortable with! She noted:
“I couldn’t say nothing.”
To her, it was Will’s ex’s way of putting her in her place, as if Sheree was saying, “You need to know who queen bee is around here, okay?” And guess what? Sheree didn’t remember the moment at all! But she did apologize, calling her behavior “shameful.” Aw!
While things were “messy” at times because they are both “really fiery,” according to Jada, Sheree revealed the actress exceeded her expectations, sharing:
“Coming into this, doing the blended thing, my only requirement was that you treated my son well. You did that. Your heart was always right toward him, wanting the best for him.”
It was because of Trey that they worked so hard to get along — even if it took some unconventional ways of communication. Jada talked about how they were able to “have difficult conversations” and “own up” to their mistakes in part thanks to a journal they passed back and forth during custody handovers, in which they would write their feelings down about topics they felt they couldn’t ‘t discuss in person. Whoa!
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On why she was determined to make friends with Sheree, Jada mused:
“My philosophy always was: How can I love Trey and not love the most important person in his life — [who] is his mother. You can’t, and I knew that.”
Later in the conversation, the country musician wondered if it ever gets hard for Sheree to see Jada with the “better version” of Will, to which she candidly remarked:
“What I think is when our union ends, he should be better cause of me. So it might hurt to see [someone] With the better version, but he shouldn’t be worse … Now in this stage of life, I think I left too soon. That was a part of me trying to protect myself. ‘Let me sever this now and go.’ If I was in a different time, I would never leave that soon. You’d work at it.”
Sheree split from the King Richard star after just three years of marriage. Everything worked out the way it was meant to, though, and they all consider each other “family.” Such a huge improvement! They also trust each other so much, Sheree will often take trips with Will… without Jada around! What??
While speaking to Jana, the Hollywood star said Will and Sheree “really enjoy each other” now that they are just co-parents. When asked if it gets under her skin, she replied:
“Never. They take trips, I’m not there. They do their thing… Not together romantically, but like if he’s going on a book tour and his mom is going and his sister, [Sheree joins in]. It’s fun for me to watch them enjoy them. It takes time, though.”
Instantly fearful of rumors, Jada clarified:
“We’re not having trouble everyone. Let’s just make that very clear cause you know that will be the next rumor.”
Addressing online speculation even further, Jada noted the public has “a lot of fun imagining” what goes on in a famous couple’s lives off-screen, explaining:
“They love it. They love putting all the pieces together and what parts you’ve told and what parts he’s told… They love sitting there and chitchatting about … and they have no idea, specifically when it comes to intimate relationships.”
Something she knows all too much about — especially this year! After Will made headlines for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, their marriage has been under scrutiny, and it doesn’t help that they already have a complicated past. In 2020, Jada admitted to having a romantic “entanglement” with singer August Alsina when she and Will were separated nearly five years earlier. So… if anyone knows how cruel the internet can be, it’s her!
You can hear more of the ladies’ chat in the full episode (below)!
It’s pretty awesome to see how Sheree and Jada managed to get past their differences and form a friendship for their blended family’s sake! Just proves anything’s possible with time. But your husband and his ex-wife going out of town together? That’s BIG! Thoughts?
[Image via MEGA/WENN & Red Table Talk/Facebook]