The emotional highlight of WillSmith‘s appearance Tuesday night in New York City to promote his self-titled memoir was the thunderous ovation received by one of the original stars of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Janet Hubert.
The actress left the series in 1993, after three seasons in the role of Aunt Viv, and was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid. Since then, Hubert had a bitter public feud with Smith for over 25 years, but finally made peace last year on the show’s 30th anniversary reunion on HBO Max. During Will Smith: An Evening of Stories with Friends at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, hosted by Spike Lee, the rapper/actor introduced Hubert, who was sitting in the audience.
“The original Aunt Viv! Get your flowers! Take it in! Take that in!,” Smith said as the 65-year-old actress cried while acknowledging a standing ovation.
“Janet and I a few months ago at the 30th anniversary of The Fresh Prince, for the first time [we] talked out the issues we had and it was one of the most healing experiences of my life,” Smith continued. “It was a big part of the place that working on this memoir got me into.”
“I just want to thank you, Janet, for being open,” the King Richard star added, blowing her multiple kisses of thanks. “That’s a big part of the exploration I wanted to do in this book.”
“I will remember this moment for the rest of my life,” Hubert commented on Instagram. In words addressed to Will, she wrote, “You have grown into such a gracious, and humble man. So proud of you baby boy…yeah I know you are a grown a** man now. But you always felt like a son. Still do. Thank you sweetheart, luv you!”