The actor shared the news in his new memoir, Will, revealing that he became enamoured with the Grease star after working on the 1993 film Six Degrees of Separation.
Smith, 53, was married to his first wife, Sheree Zampino, at the time, and the two had just welcomed their first child together.
In the memoir, which is released on 9 November, he writes: “[Zampino] married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier [his character in the film]. And to make matters worse, during shooting I fell in love with Stockard Channing.”
After filming wrapped up, Smith says he found himself “desperately yearning to see and speak to Stockard”, who is now 77.
After the quotes from Smith’s memoirs found their way onto the internet, people reacted in a variety of manners – some with surprise at the seeming random nature of the revelation.
“I find myself desperately yearning for Will Smith and his wife to spare us the details,” one person wrote, with another adding: “Will Smith & Jada out stressing their life to the public!!”
“I’ve never seen a couple talk more about their personal life on social media then Will & Jada,” another person added.
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trialSign up
Smith will next be seen in King Richard, in which he plays the father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams.
Meanwhile, Channing is currently performing Hampstead Theatre’s production of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning night, Mother, which youcan read our review on here.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies