For over a decade, LL Cool J has been keeping NCIS: Los Angeles fans entertained as the beloved Sam Hanna alongside on-screen partner Chris O'Donnell's G Callen. The police hit drama, which recently returned for its 12th season, just wouldn't be the same without them.
But what do you know about the rapper turned actor's real-life partner? Get acquainted with LL Cool J's wife Simone I. Smith here...
LL Cool J and wife Simone I. Smith
Who is LL Cool J's wife?
LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, has been married to his wife Simone I. Smith since 1995. The two met when LL was a young rapper and dated for eight years before they tied the knot. This year they will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
LL recalled the moment he met his wife during a chance encounter way back in 1987 when the rapper was only a teenager in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
"I was just 19, something like that. It was Easter and I was driving down the block in my mother's car," he said, explaining that he had stopped the car to say hello to a friend.
LL Cool J plays Sam Hanna in NCIS: Los Angeles
"He said, 'Hey, you wanna meet my cousin?'", LL continued, admitting that at first he told his friend that he had somewhere else to go, but upon seeing Simone for the first time changed his mind. "I looked over and said 'Oh yeah, I'll meet your cousin.'"
Does LL Cool J have children?
LL and Simone share four grown-up children together - son Najee, 31, and daughters Italia, 30, Samaria, 25, and Nina, 20. While LL's three eldest children have pursued careers away from the limelight, youngest Nina has decided to follow in her famous dad's footsteps and is an aspiring R&B singer.
LL and Simone are proud parents to four children
She released her first single titled Call Me under the name Nina-Symone in 2019, and the song has since racked up over 500,000 views on YouTube.
LL Cool J's wife's cancer battle
In 2004, Simone was diagnosed with stage 3 chondrosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. According to Entertainment Tonight, the entrepreneur had to undergo a 15-hour surgery and spent two and a half years recovering from the operation, during which she had to learn how to walk again.
Simone had to learn how to walk again following life-changing surgery
LL was by his wife's side throughout the whole ordeal. "You don't abandon someone in that fox hole," LL told Oprah Winfrey about the experience. "You gotta be there in that fox hole with them."
Fortunately, Simone has been cancer-free for 15 years. She and LL now dedicate their time to raise awareness as ambassadors for the Beat Cancer Like a Boss campaign, while a portion of the proceeds from Simon's jewellery line are also donated to the cause.
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