All of Will Smith's Leading Ladies Before Marrying Jada Pinkett Smith
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have long been one of the most fashionable couples in Hollywood, not to mention one of the most loved-up couples. The actors, who’ve been together for more than 20 years, have had their share of ups and downs, making adjustments to their marriage to make it work for them. More than 20 years on, they still seem to be going strong.
But before Smith fell in love with Pinkett Smith, he publicly dated a few other women in Hollywood. While there may have been other dates and flings here and there, he only had a couple of confirmed relationships (and one other marriage). Keep reading to see who he dated in the early 1990s before settling down with Pinkett Smith.
Will Smith and Garcelle Beauvais (Early 1990s)
In the early days of Will Smith’s career come-up, he and Garcelle Beauvais were frequent collaborators, Beauvais having starred with him in a few episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” between 1992 and 1995 and “Wild Wild West” in 1999. Beauvais mentioned she briefly dated Smith in a 2020 episode of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” saying, “He was hot. He was a bachelor, I was single, you know, it happens in Hollywood.” Speaking directly to his ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, Beauvais dropped the bombshell that she dated will before Zampino did, and the three then joked that they were in a throuple!
Beauvais and Smith continued their working relationship, even after their split, and seem to be on good terms. In 2018, she posted a picture on social media of their onscreen kiss in “Wild Wild West” to wish the actor a happy 50th birthday, which garnered backlash from fans who felt it inappropriate considering Smith is married. In the end, she took it down, explaining she thought it was all in good fun and meant no harm.
Will Smith and Sheree Zampino (1991-1995)
Will Smith met actress Sheree Zampino on the set of “A Different World” in 1991, but he was actually aiming to meet Jada Pinkett Smith. He mentioned in a 2018 episode of Pinkett Smith’s show “Red Table Talk” that he met Zampino that day on set instead. “The dude that was going to introduce me to Jada was with another girl and I was like, ‘Who is that?'” he recalled. He was taken with Zampino but didn’t ask for her number right away. Zampino told Hollywood Unlocked in 2019 that Smith actually asked someone else for her number – but the two eventually linked up.
Smith and Zampino got married in 1992 and had their son, Trey, in November of that year, but after a few years of marriage, Smith had a revelation. “I wasn’t with the person I was supposed to be with,” he said on “Red Table Talk” about his realisation that he loved Pinkett Smith, adding that he had a breakdown in a public bathroom over the realisation. Ultimately, Zampino was the one who filed for divorce (on Valentine’s Day, too) and they divorced in 1995.
Since then, they’ve been devoted to coparenting Trey, though Smith admitted on “Red Table Talk” the divorce was hard. “Divorce was the worst thing in my adult life,” he said. “Divorce was the ultimate failure for me. 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.”
He, Zampino, and Pinkett Smith have worked at their relationship over the years, though, creating a blended family that works for them. They’ve all spoken about coparenting on various occasions, and Pinkett Smith has even had Zampino on one of her live Q&As to share tips on how to coparent effectively.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith (1995-Now)
Before Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith even got together, he had feelings for her. He was looking for her on the set of “A Different World” when he originally met Zampino. “I didn’t meet Jada that day . . . We had all these near misses,” he said on a 2018 episode of “Red Table Talk.”
He and Pinkett Smith didn’t actually meet until 1994 when she auditioned for a role on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” She didn’t get the gig, but when the two linked up for a dinner with friends during his marriage to Zampino, they commiserated over both of their respective “dysfunctional” relationships and gave each other advice. “When everyone else left, Jada and I stayed, and I was surprised at how smart she was. Generally, people don’t arouse your intellect and your loins,” Smith told Rolling Stone in 1998 about the dinner that changed everything. Smith later said on “Red Table Talk” that the connection was “real, unique, beautiful power” and showed him what his life could be like.
The pair knew they had a connection, and that’s why they made a concerted effort to stay away from each other. “I didn’t talk to him for six months,” Pinkett Smith told Rolling Stone. “When you know there’s a connection, you think, ‘This is not something I want to fool around with.’ . . . It was like a secret we had. I knew, but I didn’t get any signal from him.”
After Smith and Zampino divorced in 1995, Smith called Pinkett Smith, and they got together for real. They married in 1997 and now have two kids together, Jaden and Willow.
Smith and Pinkett Smith have had their own relationship ups and downs through the years. “We decided that 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,” Smith said in 2020 on “Red Table Talk” about their separation a few years prior. Pinkett Smith engaged in a romantic relationship with singer August Alsina at the time, but the relationship was short-lived, and the couple ultimately knew they still wanted to be together.
Smith opened up to GQ in late 2021 about how they’ve had periods of nonmonogamy in their marriage, because that’s what works for them. “There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection?” he told GQ, adding, “What is the perfect way to interact as a couple? And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection.”
Their openness with each other and their relationship seems to be what makes them work, as the two are still together more than 20 years after marrying.