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radio station fight ‘A downward spiral’ – Will Smith reveals how he ended up in jail early in his career


Will Smith Photo: PA

Will Smith Photo: PA

Will Smith Photo: PA

Will Smith has revealed he had his house and car seized and ended up in jail early in his career.

The Hollywood star, 53, said he was in a “downward spiral” following a fight at a radio station before he appeared in his career-making role in The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

Smith recalled the incident during a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey for her Apple TV+ series while promoting his tell-all memoir Will.

In a preview clip of The Oprah Conversation, Winfrey said: “So right before Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, I think people would be surprised to know, this is the first time, I realised you basically lost everything.

“The government seized your cars, it took your home, you ended up in jail. You describe it in two words actually, ‘rock bottom.’ What was at the root of that downfall, Will? And the life lesson you took from it?”

Smith, who won a Grammy in 1989 before starring in The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air the following year, said: “When it rains, it pours. So getting into the fight at the radio station, Charlie punching the dude that landed me in jail, so the money is gone, the car is gone.

“I am laying on the floor in a jail cell and I am like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’

“I won a Grammy eight months ago. Like, what is happening? And it’s just the spiral when it starts going the other way. It’s like, sometimes you just have to get out the way and wait until the downward spiral stops.”

Smith’s memoir reveals he fell in love with a co-star while still married to his first wife, Sheree Zampino.

In an extract published by People magazine, the actor said he developed feelings for actress Stockard Channing while they were filming the 1993 movie Six Degrees Of Separation.

Smith was married to Zampino from 1992-1995 and married current wife Jada Pinkett Smith in 1997.

The Will Smith episode of The Oprah Conversation is streaming on Apple TV+.

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