Will Smith says Jada Pinkett Smith had ‘nothing to do’ with him slapping Chris Rock

Actor addressed the viral Oscars moment in a new video and clarified that his wife had nothing to do with his decision

Nicole Vassell
Saturday 30 July 2022 11:15 BST
Watch Will Smith's full video addressing the Chris Rock Oscars slap

Will Smith has spoken out about slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, denying that his wife Jada Pinkett Smith asked him to act on her behalf.

At the awards ceremony in March, the comedian made a joke in reference to Pinkett Smith’s hair. After the cameras showed her unamused response, Smith approached Rock on stage and hit him across the face, before swearing at him.

The moment has been discussed widely since, with celebrities and viewers alike commenting on the shocking altercation.

In a new video published on Friday (29 July), Smith answered some fan questions about the moment and what has happened since.

“After Jada rolled her eyes, did she tell you to do something?” said the King Richard star, reading one of the questions aloud.

Quickly, he denied the suggestion and clarified that the decision to slap Rock was his alone.

“No,” Smith began. “It's like, I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris.

Will Smith apologised to Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and others in a new video

“Jada had nothing to do with it. I'm sorry, babe.”

He continued by addressing his children and other members of his family, apologising for his actions bringing unwanted attention to their lives, also apologising to his industry peers who were present for the bizarre moment.

“I say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us,” Smith continued. “To all my fellow nominees, this is a community. I won because you voted for me, and it really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment.

“I can still see Questlove's eyes – it happened on Questlove's award. It's like 'I'm sorry' really isn't sufficient.”

Read a full transcript of Will Smith’s video apology here.

Elsewhere in the video, Smith touched upon the reason why he didn’t apologise to Rock soon after the incident, while he was on stage receiving his first Best Actor Academy Award.

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