Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were on Oprah today with their children—ALONG WITH HIS EX-WIFE. Fascinating stuff.
Will was married to Sheree Zampino for four years (1992-95) and they have a 17 year-old son named Trey. She is now married to former San Diego Chargers player, Pastor Terrell Fletcher. Will and Jada also have two children, actor Jaden (11) and singer Willow (10).
Oprah: ...And speaking of extended family, everybody's here. Both grandmothers are here—
Jada: Yep, we got Kyle, my brother; we got Sheree, that's Trey's mama... and her husband, Pastor Terrell.
Oprah: And so, obviously—obviously, everybody gets along and you all made a consciouseffort for that to happen.
Oprah: Especially when there has been a previous relationship and a child....
Oprah: Why did you make that decision? We've talked about this before, I think this is powerful—
Jada: Well, actually Sheree and I both had to make that decision, because at the end of the day... we had Trey. And that had to be the primary focus, our primary, uh... you know, just: what does HE need? And so we had to put aside our own craziness—
Oprah: Your stuff—
Jada: Our stuff, and you know, all the baggage that comes with it. And she and I just had to focus on, what does he need.
Oprah:(to Sheree): Was there a talk about that?
Jada: Oh... we had plenty. (She and Sheree laugh, Sheree nods.)
Sheree: We did, we did... It took—it took a minute, but we got it. And we realized (gesturing to she and Will, smiling), we had our chance. Now it's about these kids.
Jada: Right, right....
Oprah:(to Will): Could you speak to the ex-wives of America and tell them that?
Jada: You know, I wish! And oftentimes—
Oprah: 'Cause so many people are holding on to "what could have been...."
Jada: And the thing about it is, (simultaneously with Oprah:) the kids suffer.
Oprah: Yes. Yes—
Jada: And at the end of the day, it's like... we have to let go of our own selfish desires, our own selfish needs and we have to look: What? What can we do to facilitate the group? And what can we do to facilitatethe children, who—ultimately—they're our future!
Oprah: They're your future....
(Sheree nods vigorously.)
I know for many stepmoms here, I'm preaching to the choir. You've TRIED to make it better with the bio-mom and have been rebuffed more times than you care to count. Or maybe you've just stopped trying.
Or maybe you're a mom and feel like you're forever dealing with a stepmom who seems bent on outshining you in the motherhood department. Fun, huh?
Either way, notice Jada's emphasis on how it was a decision both she and Sheree made to work together.
And most importantly, please note her admission that there's baggage and "stuff" on both sides, but they each found a way to operate from a higher sense of purpose.
The kids' well-being.
(Photo credit to The Dougie. Oprah transcripts from Harpo Inc., All Rights Reserved).
© 2010 Jennifer Newcomb Marine All Rights Reserved