Will Smith’s mother, Caroline Bright, told 6ABC that she was stunned by her son’s meltdown during the 2022 Oscars. The 85-year-old gathered along with other family members on the morning of the ceremony in the suburbs of Philadelphia to watch the evening play out.

“I started out saying, ‘Good morning, we’ve got to say good luck to Uncle Will,’” she said, referring to a message she sent on a family group chat. 

But the family members were unprepared to watch Will, 53, as he stormed onstage after Chris Rock, 57, mentioned Jada Pinkett Smith in a G.I. Jane joke that made fun of her alopecia condition.  He proceeded to slap Chris before returning to his seat and yelling for the comedian to keep Jada’s name “out of your f—king mouth.”

“He is a very even, people person. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime … I’ve never seen him do that,” Caroline said. 

Will Smith Mom Caroline Reacts To Chris Rock Slap
Marion Curtis/Starpix/Shutterstock

The family continued to watch, despite the drama, as they anticipated his win for Best Actor. “I know how he works, how hard he works … I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting,” Caroline said. “When I heard the name, I was just, ‘Yes!’” she said, referring to when Will won the award for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard. 

Ellen Smith, Will’s younger sister, said she’s always watched him excel under pressure despite the harsh Hollywood spotlight. “I’ve had conversations with him, and it like really kind of broke my heart listening to the things he’s said he had to go through to get to where he is,” she shared. 

On Monday, March 28, the Aladdin star issued a formal public apology to Chris for his actions at the Oscars. “I was out of line and I was wrong,” Will wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, March 28. “I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Will’s family said they’re convinced he will continue to take the right path moving forward. “I am proud of him being him,” Caroline said. 

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