Will Smith’s love-life has been dragged back to the limelight after the Hollywood star was accused of having sex with fellow Fresh Prince actor Duane Martin.
The Men in Black star, 55, has fiercely denied the claims by Brother Bilaal, who describes himself as Smith’s former personal assistant, with his spokesman branding them ‘unequivocally false’.
The latest accusations about the actor’s private life come just weeks after wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shock revelation that they have in fact been separated for seven years – and haven’t considered each other husband and wife in that time.
She discussed truth about the breakdown of their 25-year marriage during an interview with Hoda Kotb on the Today show to launch her new book Worthy, and said they were still trying to ‘figure out’ what the future of their marriage looks like.
Jada, 52, who previously admitted to an affair in 2020, says in the book that they were separated: ‘It was not a divorce on paper but it was a divorce’.
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Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith began dating shortly after she got divorced from her then-husband Sheree Fletcher in 1995, after meeting a year before on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Her surprise disclosure came a year after their relationship was drawn into focus after Will Smith flew into a fury and smacked Chris Rock live at the 94th Academy Awards and told him ‘keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth’ when the comic made a joke about Jada’s short hair.
Smith received much backlash for the slap and Jada later admitted that she was surprised to hear him call her his wife.
‘We haven’t called each other husband and wife in a long time,’ she added during the Hoda Kotb in an interview.
The confirmation that their relationship has shifted ground from the happy couple they once were is the latest low in a string of ups and downs for Will and his often public love-life, which includes a previous marriage and relationships with several high profile beauties.
The King Richard actor had a penchant for meeting his girlfriends on the set of The Fresh Prince, with at least four of his celebrity dalliances stemming from his time on the hit show, including both of his wives.
He met his first wife, Sheree Zampino at a taping of The Fresh Prince. The pair were together from 1991 to 1995, tying the knot in 1992 and having a son, Trey, together that same year.
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Family man: Reciting the lyrics from his Big Willy Style hit track – Just the Two of Us – Will Smith laid bare the life changing night he became a father (Pictured left to right: Jaden, WIllow, Will and Trey Smith)
The relationship was reportedly difficult, and they divorced in 1995, an event that Will Smith once admitted was one of the most difficult things he’s ever dealt with.
Despite this, the pair remain close. In 2018, Will Smith called her ‘the best baby mama ever’ in an Instagram post celebrating her birthday.
The pair even posed with his Best Actor Oscar award after the 94th Academy Awards, in which he slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.
While Will’s career and fame shot up after they split, Sheree’s didn’t quite follow the same trajectory. She hasn’t appeared in many feature films, though appeared in all three seasons of VH1’s ‘Hollywood Exes’, a reality TV show that documented the lives of women who used to date famous people.
Her castmates included Nicole Murphy, Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife, and Andrea Kelly, R. Kelly’s ex-wife.
Smith also met Haitian-American actress Garcelle Beauvais on the set of The Fresh Prince. She revealed in a 2020 episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hill that she and Smith had dated in the early 1990s, but admitted in a 2022 interview that they weren’t in a ‘long-lasting relationship.’
‘I was an ingenue, he as single and a TV star so we went out a couple of times.’
The pair were dating while he was married to Sheree. Garcelle admitted she only found out that he was seeing several people at the same time when she called him at an awkward time, while he was with Sheree and their son, Trey.
‘I remember one day calling him and he was in the car. And his son, with Sheree, [they] were in the back.
‘So you know, he picked up on the car or Bluetooth or whatever it was back in the day, or speakerphone — whatever it was — and he said, “Hey how are you doing?” And I said, “I’m great.”
‘And I heard this little voice in the background go, “Is that Miss Jada?”
‘And that’s when I was like, “Okay — I’m not the only one.” Exit stage left,’ she joked.
‘If a kid knows somebody then that person’s a little bit more important, right?!’
It wasn’t just actresses he met and dated while working on the Fresh Prince. He ended up dating supermodel Tyra Banks between 1993 and 1994, after meeting when she auditioned for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, in what would be her first TV acting gig.
She managed to land the role, and played his ex-girlfriend Jackie from Philadelphia for eight episodes in season four.
While they dated for a year, reports claimed that nothing ever ‘got serious’ between them.
Given that Smith was married to Sheree Zampino at the time, it is not currently known what Banks’ and Smith’s relationship was like, or how it affected his marriage, which ended in 1995.
Despite this, Banks’ career flourished, and has since appeared on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, as well as editorials for Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar.
She was also a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005.
In an episode of his Class of ’88 podcast, it was revealed that Will Smith and Sandra Denton, best known for being Pepa in the hip-hop duo Salt-N-Pepa, went on a date in the late 1980s.
Denton gave Will a questionable look after he reminded her that the pair dated.
After she shot daggers at him, he quickly said: ‘We’re allowed to talk about it! We’ve matured! We ain’t do nothin’.’
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith began dating shortly after she got divorced from her then-husband Sheree Fletcher in 1995, after meeting a year before on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Though Will was initially interested in her, he did not make a move, and instead dated Tyra Banks for a year.
The pair got married in 1997. while Jada was pregnant. She later admitted that she ‘didn’t really want to get married’ to Will Smith.
‘I was under so much pressure, being a young actress. I just didn’t know what to do,’ she said in 2022 in an episode of her Red Table talk show.
‘I was so upset that I had to have a wedding. I was so pissed I went crying down the freaking aisle. I cried the whole way down the aisle,’ she added.
Her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, admitted that wedding was ‘horrible.’
‘It was a mess. Jada was sick, she was very unpleasant … She didn’t cooperate with anything.’
But the same could not be said of Will, who said in on the same episode: ‘There wasn’t a day in my life that I wanted anything other than being married and having a family.
‘From literally 5 years old, I was picturing what my family would be.’
Their marriage was rocky from the get-go, and became even rockier in 2013 when she made the world believe the pair were in an open relationship, after she told an interviewer: ‘I’ve always told Will, “You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay”.
‘Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I’m here as his partner, but he is his own man.’
She later clarified the comments, and said in a social media post: ‘Open marriage? The statement I made in regard to, “Will can do whatever he wants”, has illuminated the need to discuss the relationship between trust and love and how they co-exist.’
She revealed earlier this year that the pair of them had been separated since 2016, and were no longer living together, though were still married.
She told NBC News at the time that she had promised herself that she and Will would never get a divorce, and has tried her best not to break that promise.
But in 2020, it was revealed that she had an affair with 23-year-old rapper August Alsina, a friend of her son Jaden, when she was 44.
She initially denied the relationship, but later admitted that she had an ‘entanglement’ with him.
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It is not known how the relationship between Karrine Steffans (pictured) and Will Smith worked, given that he had long been married to Jada Pinkett Smith when they were seeing each other
But Jada wasn’t the only one who seemingly fooled around outside the marriage.
Actress Karrine Steffans reportedly dated Will Smith in 2004. It is not known how their relationship worked, given that Smith had long been married to Jada Pinkett Smith at this point.
An exact timeline of their relationship does not exist, and while there are no officials reports of the pair dating, she reportedly mentioned the relationship in her book ‘The Vixen Diaries’.
The now-45-year-old ran away from her home at the age of 16 and began working as an exotic dancer, following a long and troubled childhood in the US Virgin Islands and Florida.
Despite this, she became a New York Times bestselling author several times with her series of autobiographies.
Questions over Will Smith’s sexuality have also reared their ugly heads in light of the Brother Bilaal claims.
Transgender model and actress Alexis Arquette boldly claimed in 2016 that he was sleeping with talent executive Benny Medina in a now-infamous Facebook post in which she said:
‘When Jada comes out as Gay and her beard husband admits his first marriage ended when she walked in to him **** servicing his Sugar Daddy Benny Medina ..then I will listen to them,’ writes Arquette.
The transgender actress later added in the comment section: ‘”She” being his FIRST wife. Paid off, silent.’
Arquette, whose sister Patricia won an Academy Award in 2014 for her performance in Boyhood, went on to write in her post; ‘Will threw a fit on the set of Six Degrees of Separation when he was required by the scene to kiss Anthony Rapp.
‘He persuaded the director to shoot the back of his head in frame. Blocking the non existent lip lock entirely.
‘F*** him. Gays have enemies. They lurk in gilded closets. Outing is healthy. You are either with or against us. You decide. Today.’
The Smiths were also forced to defend their sexualities in 2009, when Jada said: ‘I’ve heard all the things – their marriage is not real, he’s gay, she’s gay, they swing. I tell you what, it’s too hard to be in a pretend marriage.’
She later said that none of those rumours were true, though she was not asked whether she or Will were bisexual.