Jada Pinkett Smith is proud of the bond she's formed with Will Smith's ex-wife, Sheree Zampino — but the Hollywood star admits that it took time.
On a special 50th birthday celebration on her Facebook Watch talk show, "Red Table Talk," birthday girl Pinkett Smith explained that, despite a rocky beginning, she and Zampino — mother to her husband's oldest son, Trey, 28 — now share a "beautiful sisterhood."
The "Girls Trip" star opened up about her relationship with Zampino, who was married to Smith from 1992 until 1995, while discussing the challenges and joys of motherhood.
“You guys have been so loving and supportive and you guys just see me," she tearfully told daughter and co-host Willow Smith, 20. "You and Trey and Jaden, all three of you see me. You really do through the toughest times. I would say being a mother wasn't easy, but it was worth it."
She continued, "I would say another challenge was smoothing out my thoughts around, you know, the relationship with Sheree and I. That was a real process."
"When I think about our relationship now, there's a real sisterhood there, but it took 20 some years," she added.
The actor, who married Smith, 52, in 1997, said her now-harmonious relationship with Zampino, 53, whom she calls Ree, brought "ease" to their entire blended family.
“It was really a transformation for all of us. Having a blended family and getting to a place where there was ease, there was ease with it. And having complete, utter acceptance," she explained. "Like, Ree has acceptance for me and all my nonsense. I have acceptance for her and all her nonsense."
She added, "There's a real beautiful sisterhood there."
In June 2020, Will Smith opened up about his painful split from Zampino, calling it "the worst thing" that ever happened to him as an adult.
"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," said the former "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star.
In May 2018, Pinkett Smith invited Zampino to be the first guest on the premiere episode of "Red Table Talk." As the two women chatted about their difficult start, Pinkett Smith apologized for dating Smith before he and Zampino had finished the divorce process.
"Because I did not understand marriage, I did not understand divorce, I probably should have fell back," Smith said during the emotional segment.
"You think?" Zampino jokingly responded.
In November of the same year, both Pinkett Smith and Smith shared touching birthday tributes to Zampino on Instagram.
Pinkett Smith shared a photo of her and Zampino laughing together in a since-deleted post. "It’s been a hell of a journey between us and I’m grateful!" she wrote in a lengthy caption.
Meanwhile, Smith posted a throwback photo of him and Zampino as young parents, holding baby Trey between them. "I Love You, Ree-Ree," he wrote in his caption, adding the hashtag #BestBabyMamaEver.