Since the show's debut in 2011, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills producers have hired within the cast’s inner circle on several occasions. Many fans met current Housewife Dorit Kemsley when she first appeared on the show as Lisa Vanderpump’s friend and designer. Additionally, Kyle Richards’ sister Kathy Hilton joined the cast as a “friend of” RHOBH in Season 11.
After two seasons on RHOBH, Garcelle helped one of her closest friends land a spot on the reality drama for Season 12. The actress’s best friend, Sheree Zampino, began filming as a “friend of” in 2021. Before her RHOBH debut, though, Sheree and Garcelle became close friends thanks to Sheree’s famous ex.
How did Garcelle Beauvais and Sheree Zampino’s friendship begin?
In Season 10, Sheree filmed an episode of RHOBH with Garcelle. On the show, she joined some of the Coming to America star’s other friends she made during her time in Hollywood. Garcelle credited Sheree and their pals as her “ride or die girls” and opened up about the struggles of finding a loyal group of friends as a Black actress living in Beverly Hills, per Us Weekly.
Although it’s unclear how they met, Garcelle and Sheree were both coming up in Hollywood during the 1990s. At the time, Garcelle was a model-turned-actress with roles on The Jamie Foxx Show and Models, Inc. Sheree was also pursuing modeling and acting. Sheree met Will Smith on the set of A Different World in 1991, and the couple got married in 1992. They welcomed their son, Trey, that same year before divorcing in 1995.
After their divorce, Will married Jada Pinkett in 1997. Before their marriage, though, Garcelle admitted on RHOBH that she dated Will after his and Sheree’s divorce. With Sheree’s permission to talk about it, the NYPD Blue star admitted she thought the Oscar winner was “hot,” and they were both singles at the time.
However, the relationship was short-lived, as apparently Jada was also in the picture too. In an April 2022 interview with Las Culturistas podcast, Garcelle said while she and Will were seeing each other, she called him one day while he was in the car with his and Sheree’s son, Trey. When she heard a voice in the background (presumably Trey's) ask if the person on the phone was “Miss Jada,” Garcelle realized “I’m not the only one” and broke up with Will.
Nonetheless, she and Sheree remained close friends and now joke about being in a “throuple” with the King Richard star.
Garcelle Beauvais pitched to Bravo to give Sheree Zampino a spot on the show.
Following her RHOBH cameo, many fans petitioned for Sheree to become a part of the franchise. In October 2020, a viewer tweeted Andy Cohen with a picture of the Whoop Ash owner hugging Will and Martin Lawrence at the Bad Boys 3 premiere.
The fan asked the producer to hire Sheree and have Garcelle introduce her as a friend. Garcelle shared the post and replied that having her longtime pal join her “would make me so happy.”
In an October 2021 interview with People, Garcelle discussed the importance of having a close friend like Sheree on the show.
“I would love her to be a friend on the show,” Garcelle said about “pitching” Sheree. "I would love to have someone I can trust.”
In December 2021, Bravo officially announced that Sheree would have a supporting role on RHOBH. In addition to Garcelle, castmates Crystal Kung Minkoff and newcomer Sanela Diana Jenkins have already embraced the Sheree Elizabeth boutique designer on Instagram.
Catch new episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on Bravo.