Jada Pinkett Smith encouraged Will Smith to make first marriage work
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Jada Pinkett Smith says she wanted Will Smith to work out his marriage to his first wife.
Pinkett Smith and Smith met in 1994 on the set of Fresh Prince, where she'd audition to play his on-screen girlfriend.
Smith developed feelings for Pinkett Smith before ending his marriage, but the pair didn't start dating until after his divorce.
"I had a realization I wasn’t with the person I was supposed to be with,” he recalled on Red Table Talk in 2018.
"I was sitting in a [bathroom] stall and I was crying and laughing uncontrollably, and I knew [Jada] was the woman I was supposed to be with.”
But before pursuing things with Ali star Pinkett Smith, the 52-year-old had encouraged him to try and reconcile with Zampino for the sake of their son.
Part of her new memoir Worthy reads: "He was in the middle of his divorce from Sheree, and I didn't know a damn thing about the complexities of divorce other than what I'd observed in my dysfunctional upbringing.
"My biggest misunderstanding about the dissolution of marriage was the belief that divorce and a breakup were the same.
"I figured, once you decided to send divorce papers, that meant you were truly done."
But Pinkett Smith had their son Trey, then two years old, at the forefront of her mind.
Recalling a phone call with Smith who had expressed the potential of reconciliation with Zampino, the mum-of-two penned: "Hot tears spilled from my eyes, but my voice on the phone held steady.
"It occurred to me that this wasn't about me or even us. This was really about Will and Sheree's two-year-old son, Trey."
Pinkett Smith went on: "As calmly as I could, I said, 'You have to try. There is a child involved'."
She went on to hail Smith as 'the best thing that had happened to me in a long time', but she knew that him trying to fix his marriage was 'for the better'.
But two weeks later Smith confirmed that he and Zampino were continuing with their divorce proceedings.
Their daughter Willow was then born in 2000.