Tyrese says he’s still “recovering” over a false money claim involving Will Smith.
The controversy goes back to 2017, when Tyrese announced the Oscar-winning actor had given him $5 million to cover legal fees in his custody battle with ex-wife Norma Mitchell.
“My wife kept the news away from me ’cause I’ve been on with lawyers all day, but our family and our sister Jada Pinkett-Smith and my brother Will Smith just sent us 5 million dollars to help keep us afloat. … The Smiths and their whole family has always shown up for The Gibson’s,” he wrote on Instagram at the time. “Uncle Will you’re an uncle for real.”
Sources close to the Smiths immediately denied the claims to TMZ, adding Will and Jada were worried about Tyrese’s mental state. More than five years after the incident, Gibson agrees the concerns were warranted.
The 44-year-old revisited the controversy during a candid interview on Sway’s Universe this week, where he discussed his mental health and his experience with psychiatric medication.
“Will Smith is gonna give me $5 million? I never even talked to Will Smith. I was out of my mind,” Tyrese said around the 29:10 minute mark above.
Tyrese said he made the claim while he was on Rexulti, which is used to treat depressive disorder in adults. The Fast X star said he was prescribed the medication after losing custody of his daughter Shayla, whom he shares with Mitchell. The mother was granted custody of the child in late 2017, after she accused Tyrese of physically abusing Shayla. The actor denied the allegations, and the case was dropped weeks later.
“I travel and I move all the time. I’m used to being away from my baby,” he told Sway. “But to take my baby away for 100 days? Oh, I was fucking miserable. So then the psychiatrist says, ‘Here’s some psych meds that’ll help stabilize your mood, because you barely sleep, you’re stressed the fuck out, and your first-born was taken away from you. … They gave me these psych meds called Rexulti. Fucked me up.”
He told Sway he abstained from illicit drugs, which might explain his bad reaction to the medication.
“You put some shit like Rexulti in my system, it’s going to have the worst adverse effects ever,” he said at the 38:20 mark. “So I’m online talking about Will Smith giving me $5 million. I never talked to Will Smith and I still haven’t recovered from the damage that I did to him and his family. They didn’t deserve them phone calls.”
Tyrese said he also hasn’t recovered from falsely announcing his estranged wife, Samantha Lee, was pregnant with their second child. “I was out of my mind,” he added.
Gibson opened up about his split with Lee, whom he married in 2017. He said their relationship became stronger at the beginning of the 2020 lockdowns, but took a turn once he went back into work mode. Tyrese told Sway he and Lee would argue about his busy schedule, as he was devoting more time to his music career. He said things took a drastic turn in late 2020, right before he started a new project.
“I go to New Jersey to work on this movie, we’re still arguing. She said, ‘I’m leaving,’” Tyrese recalled. “I said, ‘What do you mean?’ Because I never heard her say that [in] that way. Because we know the difference…I heard something different in her voice.”
Gibson and Lee announced their divorce in December of that year. Although he has since started a relationship with Zelie Timothy, Tyrese suggested the split from Lee still affects him, as he never received a full explanation.
Tyrese will address the divorce in his upcoming double album Beautiful Pain. The project will include his latest record, “Don’t Think You Ever Loved Me,” featuring Lenny Kravitz and Le’Andria Johnson.
“I’m not with Zelie to spite Sam. … But I don’t think you ever loved me,” Tyrese told Sway. “Because if you did, it wouldn’t be that easy to leave and never come back. So you motherfuckers can do whatever you want to do with my truth, but I’ma tell my truth.”
Hear the February-released single below.