LL Cool J's wife, Simone Smith, joined the rest of the country in celebrating Thanksgiving last week. Like most people, Simone was thankful for her family members and paid tribute to them in a social media post.
LL (real name James Todd Smith) and his wife have become one of the few celebrity couples restoring the world's faith in love and marriage. That alone is worth celebrating.
Simone Smith and LL Cool J at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 26, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images
Besides their inspirational love story, the rapper/actor and Simone also happen to have a very close relationship with their four kids, son Najee and daughters Italia, Samaria, and Nina.
"I'm not gonna raise spoiled kids that just don’t know what the real world is like; who think they don’t have to do anything"
To celebrate Thanksgiving, Simone shared a family photo taken in 2017 when her husband was recognized at the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, DC.
LL, Simone, and all their children were present in the snapshot, as was Italia's husband Lamar Cardinez and another family member. "Family is everything," Simone captioned the pic, which had all participants showing off goofy faces.
LL and Simone first met as teenagers in 1987, per Country Living. It wasn't until 1995, however, that they tied the knot. Twenty-four years later, these two have built a beautiful life together.
Simone and LL's first child, Najee, has made a name for himself as an accomplished photographer, ILOSM notes. He turned 30 in September.
Italia, 28, tied the knot with her husband in June 2017 and welcomed a son, King-James, a year later. 24-year-old Samaria is the owner of a denim store in Los Angeles while Nina is making moves as a fast-rising R&B singer.
In 2017, LL opened up to Oprah's Masterclass about his refusal to raise spoiled kids, comparing the act to stealing a child’s soul:
"I am a stickler for excellence, and I’m not going to spoil you. You’ve got to prove you’re worthy of whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish…I’m not gonna raise spoiled kids that just don’t know what the real world is like; who think they don’t have to do anything to contribute. That’s almost like stealing someone’s soul."
But the journey has not always been smooth for LL and his jewelry designer wife. The couple was dealt a painful blow in 2004 when Simone discovered a knot on her leg and was soon diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a rare bone cancer.
Simone reportedly had to undergo a 15-hour surgery and spent the next two and a half years learning to walk again. Through it all, LL remained by her side.
"You don’t abandon someone in that foxhole," the rapper once told Oprah Winfrey about that trying period. "You got to be there in that foxhole with them."
Simone is now cancer-free, and her doting husband continues to lend his support as they offer strength and hope to cancer patients through the "Beat Cancer Like A Boss" campaign.
It's no surprise that Simone is thankful for her family. After surviving the tough times they did, who wouldn't?
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