Will Smith is gearing up for his first memoir. The notoriously private star has seen his marriage and life come under a new type of microscope in recent years, thanks to his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk. Throughout the series, she has opened up about issues in their marriage, often falling on the bad side of public opinion. Will is looking to even the playing field with his new book as he is gearing up to make some astounding revelations himself. People magazine reported on an exclusive excerpt from the book where he discusses his first marriage to Sheree Zampino and some of the mistakes he’s made.
Will is out on Nov 9th. It is the first book by actor Will Smith, 53. In the book, he is said to open up about several topics, from his relationship to his father to the current status of him and Jada. In one part of the book, he opens up about his time shooting Six Degrees of Separation.
The 1993 film was based on a 1990 play of the same name and starred Will Smith opposite Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland. The movie is described as a drama about a wealthy white couple who “finds their lives touched, intruded upon, and compelled by a mysterious young black man who is never quite who he says he is.” Will’s character is “a skillful con artist, [who] mysteriously appears at their door one night, injured and bleeding, claiming to be a close college friend” of the pair’s daughters. His character eventually falls in love with Stockard’s Louisa “Ouisa” Kittredge.
The movie was well received and resulted in several big nominations for Stockard. It also helped establish Will Smith as a serious actor and someone who could do more than comedy. Will confesses in the book that making the film was particularly hard for him because he got lost in his character. So much so that he fell in love with his co-star Stockard in real life. Unfortunately, Will was a new husband and in a relationship with first wife Sheree Zampino, mother of his eldest son Trey.
In an excerpt from the book obtained by PEOPLE, he recalled, “Sheree and I were in the first few months of our marriage with a brand-new baby and for Sheree, I can imagine that this experience was unsettling to say the least.” He goes on to say “she’d married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier. And to make matters worse, during shooting I fell in love with Stockard Channing.” He confessed that the connection with Stockard was so strong that even after he, Sheree and Trey relocated to Los Angeles he missed her. “I found myself desperately yearning to see and speak to Stockard” he recalls.
He goes on to explain that the movie taught him the dangers of going too deep into character. Will says it was his last experience with method acting. Sheree and Will’s marriage, which began in 1992, would end in 1995. Will and Sheree have gone on to have a fantastic co-parenting relationship, but it was not always easy.
In a 2020 episode of Red Table Talk, Will opened up about their divorce, calling it “the worst thing in my adult life.” He considered divorce his ultimate failure, something he really struggled with. He admits that the pair were very young and that marriage was too tough for them. His wife Jada commended him and told him that although he was a bad husband to Sheree, he was an excellent father to Trey.
Sheree would go on to marry NFL star and Pastor Terrell Fletcher. Elsewhere in the book Will is expected to shed some light on him and Jada. While it is not confirmed yet, during a sit down earlier this year to discuss the book Will confessed that Jada has not been the only one to step out of their marriage. Jada has gotten a lot of flack for her relationships with Tupac and August Alsina, while Will has remained mostly untainted. However, after the Stockard revelation, there is no telling what else he might be gearing up to discuss.