“Will Smith [was] holding his Oscar and waving it as he danced and sang along to his song ‘Summertime’ with Jada by his side. He was the talk of the night, and it wasn’t positive, but he didn’t show it,” the insider shares. “He did not have a care in the world.”
Smith did not immediately respond to In Touch‘s request for comment.
His jovial mood at the event was in stark contrast to his demeanor as he angrily struck Rock, 57, before returning to his seat to repeatedly scream: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”
The shocking moment was set off when Rock joked to Pinkett Smith, 50, in the audience: “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya.”
Pinkett Smith looked visibly unimpressed, while Smith, 53, initially laughed from his seat. Shortly afterward, however, the actor’s mood changed as he walked up to Rock and hit him across the face.
“Oh wow,” the taken-aback presenter said as Smith made his way back to his seat. “Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me.”
Minutes after the ordeal, Smith won Best Actor for his starring role in King Richard. Addressing the now-viral incident directly in his acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy and his fellow actors for the altercation. However, he failed to mention Rock by name.
“Denzel [Washington] said to me, ‘At your highest moment, be careful — that’s when devil comes for you.’ It’s like I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena and thank you to the total Williams family for entrusting me with their story,” Smith said through tears. “I want to apologize to the academy, I want to apologize to my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not, I’m not crying for winning an award, it’s not about winning an award for me, it’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.”
He added, “Art imitates life, I look just like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
According to Variety, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that Rock had not yet filed a police report against Smith.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another,” authorities said, per the outlet. “The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
The Academy also released its own statement following the surprising altercation.
“The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” the organization tweeted in the early hours of Monday, March 28. “Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Despite the drama, it appears the A-listers are back on good terms. Sean “Diddy” Combs confirmed at the Vanity Fair bash that there’s no bad blood between Smith and Rock.
“That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that,” Diddy, 52, told Page Six. “It’s all love,” he added. “They’re brothers.”
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