Will Smith Admits He Was In Love With Stockard Channing While Married


UPDATED 4/21/2022

Will Smith has admitted that he “fell in love” with Stockard Channing while he was married to Sheree Zampino. In his new memoir, he writes about how he fell in love with Channing while the two were shooting the 1993 film Six Degrees of Separation. At the time, he was newly married to first wife Sheree Zampino.


“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 writes in an excerpt. “She’d married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier,” he writes, referring to his movie character.


Will Smith admits he fell in love with Stockard Channing during ‘Six Degrees of Separation’

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, Will Smith, Stockard Channing, 1993, candle / Everett Collection

He continues, “And to make matters worse, during shooting I fell in love with Stockard Channing… After the film wrapped, Sheree and Trey and I moved back to L.A. Our marriage was off to a rocky start. I found myself desperately yearning to see and speak to Stockard.”

RELATED: Whatever Happened To Stockard Channing, Rizzo From ‘Grease’?

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, from left: Donald Sutherland, Stockard Channing, Will Smith, 1993. ©MGM/courtesy Everett Collection

This isn’t the first time Smith has been open about his massive crush on Channing. Back in a 2015 interview, he opened up about how method acting for the film really backfired on him. “With Six Degrees of Separation, I got a taste early of the dangers of going too far for a character,” he said. “My character was in love with Stockard Channing’s character. And I actually fell in love with Stockard Channing.”

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, Will Smith, 1993 / Everett Collection

“So the movie was over and I went home, and I was dying to see Stockard. I was like, ‘Oh no! What have I done?’ That was my last experience with method acting, where you’re reprogramming your mind. You’re actually playing around with your psychology. You teach yourself to like things and to dislike things.”

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, Will Smith, 1993, greeting

Channing was actually asked about this a few weeks later, to which she said she’s “very flattered. That’s a wonderful thing…I adored him from the first time I laid eyes on him because I thought he was genuinely sweet. I felt very protective of him, because it was his first big job. It’s amazing for me to hear that he felt that way, I’m delighted.”

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