Jada Pinkett Smith Had a ‘Rough’ Relationship With Will Smith’s Ex-Wife

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have come a long way in their marriage. The two have run into their share of complications, but dealing with Smith’s previous marriage provided its own set of problems for the couple to work through. And things between Pinkett and Smith’s ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, were not always smooth.

Will Smith sits in between his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith (left), and his ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, in 2014.
Will Smith sits in between his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith (left), and his ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, in 2014. | Bryan Steffy/WireImage

Jada Pinkett Smith never thought she’d get married

Pinkett Smith didn’t grow up thinking she’d be anybody’s second wife. The actor never wanted to be married in the first place, as she didn’t like the implications that came with being a “wife.” But when she became pregnant with Will Smith’s first child, she felt pressure from her mother to walk down the aisle. She and Smith tied the knot in 1997.

The wedding was “horrible,” Pinkett revealed nearly 20 years later on an episode of “Red Table Talk.” Pinkett explained that she was crying all day, including while walking down the aisle toward her future husband. “I was so upset that I had to have a wedding,” she said. “I went crying down the freakin’ aisle getting married.”

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith | Marc Susset-Lacroix/WireImage

RELATED: Will Smith ‘Cried So Hard’ When He and Ex-Wife Sheree Zampino Brought Their Son Home for the First Time

Jada Pinkett and Sheree Zampino had problems to work out

The difficulties didn’t stop once Pinkett and Smith tied the knot. Rather, that was only their starting point. Smith had been married to Sheree Zampino, with whom he shares his oldest child, Trey. And Pinkett admitted she was naïve about the couple’s divorce, thinking Smith and Zampino would be completely separate from each other now that they were no longer married.

“I didn’t understand divorce,” Smith said to Zampino when she invited her to an episode of “Red Table Talk,” according to The Washington Post. She added, “I will say that I probably should have fell back.” Pinkett also admitted things were “rough” with Zampino in the beginning, since there were now two women in Smith’s life.

Trey Smith didn’t always fit in with the Smith family, which caused problems

Pinkett’s problems with Zampino mostly revolved around Zampino’s son, Trey. Though Pinkett had the best intentions with Trey, his transition into Pinkett and Smith’s new family came with its difficulties.

“I had this fantasy in mind,” Pinkett said. “I’m like, ‘Oh, man, we’re going to be one big happy family. We’re just going to make this work. And Trey, this is going to be seamless for him.” But Pinkett quickly realized it wouldn’t be that easy. “It hasn’t been [seamless], and that’s been difficult.” For years, Smith didn’t have a good relationship with his son. According to Zampino, Trey once told her, “There were times when I was a kid that I didn’t feel loved.”

Smith and Trey have spent years improving their relationship, which has paved the way for Pinkett and Zampino to improve theirs. These days, the women can talk about the past with a brighter outlook toward the future. On Pinkett’s “Red Table Talk,” both women complimented each other on their parenting skills, with Pinkett saying Zampino is “a good mother,” and Zampino saying that her son “could not have a better bonus mom.”