Will Smith once had to pay his own mother $140,000 in child support for him and his siblings

Will Smith divorced his first wife Sheree Zampino. They have a son, Trey, together and presumably Smith pays all of his required child support. We have not heard otherwise. But, that’s not the big story of child support. The big child support story in Smith’s life is that he paid his own child support, $140,000 in total.

Carolyn Smith and Will Smith | Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Smith writes about the incident in his new autobiography, Will be. It happened in 1998, after which Smith had already starred in blockbusters Independence Day and Men in black.

How child support came about after Will Smith became an adult

Smith called his parents dad and mom-mom. They separated when he was still a teenager. In 1997, Maman-Maman moved and found her divorce papers unfiled. So she dropped them off to make things official.

” src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ykTDhoQG1vk?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; automatic reading; clipboard-write; encrypted media; gyroscope; picture in picture” allow full screen >

RELATED: Will Smith Turned Down $10 Million To Star In Bombshell But Instead Takes A $300,000 Role

“Mom-Mom’s filing of divorce papers unleashed the full weight of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” he wrote. “Daddio had taken care of us, but he had never officially child support paid, a fact that emerged during the basic paperwork review. Mom-Mom was told that with interest and penalties, Daddio owed her nearly $140,000. And she wanted every penny of his money. Under Pennsylvania law, if he refused or could not afford to pay, he could be arrested, imprisoned, and have his property seized by the sheriff.

Will Smith’s Dad Won’t Sign Divorce Papers

Daddio called a family meeting. Smith was on the set of wild west wild, which came out in 1999, so it was around 1998. For some reason, Daddio didn’t want to sign the divorce papers, “AND THROW EVERYTHING, JUST LIKE THAT?” as Smith recalled.

Neither Smith nor his siblings could understand why their father refused to sign.

“To this day I have no idea what Daddio was thinking,” he wrote. “Perhaps there was some bizarre finality to the signing that was too much to bear; maybe that was why he never signed them in the first place. But the first domino had been knocked down.

Mom-Mom didn’t want her rich son to bail out his ex

Mom-Mom told her son not to help Daddio but he was the only rapper-turned-actor-turned-movie-star in the family. He had the resources to solve all of this, however unlikely.

RELATED: Jada Pinkett Smith Made 1 Selfless Sacrifice That Convinced Will Smith To Sign His Divorce Papers

“I was stuck,” he wrote. “Daddio didn’t have $140,000 and mom-mom wasn’t willing to make any concessions. And there was no version of me letting my dad go to jail. So in a sneaky deal, à la Ponzi, I wired $140,000 into Daddio’s account; he immediately wrote a check to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the full amount, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania returned mom-mom full on child support.

At least Smith has a sense of humor about it now.

“It made me the first person in Pennsylvania history to pay their own child support,” he wrote. “(Note: When Mom-Mom found out I had paid Dad’s debt, she was pissed. And immediately wrote me a check for $140,000, making her the first person in the history of the Pennsylvania to repay their own child the child support they had paid themselves.)”

RELATED: Will Smith Already Spent $1,000 on a Haircut

About the author