After Joining The Real Housewives, Will Smith’s Ex Opens Up About Her Own Reaction To The Slap On Oscars Night

It’s been months since the 2022 Academy Awards, but the event is still being talked about thanks to the already infamous incident involving Will Smith and Chris Rock. The internet exploded when the King Richard actor walked on stage and slapped the comic, especially since it was right before he won the Oscar for his work on that film. After joining the Real Housewives, Will Smith’s ex Sheree Zampino opens up about her reaction to the Slap on Oscars night.

Sheree Zampino is a “friend of” the housewives this season on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, after appearing as a guest for the previous two years. Zampino is also known for her former marriage with Will Smith, and co-parenting with both he and Jada Pinkett. She was recently asked by Us Weekly about her reaction to the infamous Oscars slap, where she said:

It was one of those moments where I froze. The first thing you do is you try to make sense of it in the [moment]. And when it doesn’t make sense in the moment … we didn’t even really have time. I didn’t even deal with it.

That moment of freezing is one that a lot of folks out there probably had in reaction to seeing Will Smith slap Chris Rock on national television. Those who were in the room at that time have expressed a similar sentiment, as have those of us simply watching at home. Sheree Zampino might know Smith personally, but that didn’t make it any less shocking.

Sheree Zampino’s comments to Us Weekly help to peel back the curtain on what it was like seeing The Slap for those actually close to the situation. Will Smith attacking Chris Rock set shockwaves through pop culture, and the recent Oscar winner only recently stepped out publicly with Jada Pinkett Smith for the first time since March. And it remains to be seen if he and Rock will ever be able to reconcile.

While Will Smith recently posted a long video on social media apologizing to Chris Rock and his family over the Oscars incident, it seems the two haven’t actually connected on an interpersonal level. But Sheree Zampino thinks that their reunion might offer something powerful to the public zeitgeist, as she shared: 

When Chris and Will can come together and heal in a public way and extend forgiveness to one another? Do you know how many people that’s gonna help and set free? So, I see the opportunity in it.

She’s got a point. Considering how beloved both Will Smith and Chris Rock were prior to the Oscar slap incident, it no doubt would move folks out there to see them come to an agreement sometime in the future. But it’s unclear if/when this will ever happen. We’ll just have to see if the “opportunity” that Sheree Zampino was referencing ever comes to fruition.

Professionally, Chris Rock has been keeping busy touring with his stand-up act, which occasionally makes a reference to the Oscars slap incident. As for Will Smith, he’s got a number of projects on the backburner, some of which were put on hold as a result of The Slap. He also resigned from the film academy and was banned from the ceremony for a decade.

Sheree Zampino is on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills this season on Bravo, while Will Smith’s next movie Emancipation is expected to arrive in theaters sometime in 2023. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.