Will Smith calls Oscars ‘horrific night’ in first interview

Will Smith has tearfully recalled the “terrible night” he slapped Chris Rock in the face at the 2022 Oscars.

The ‘King Richard’ star, 54, sat down for his first late-night TV interview since the March incident, admitting he had been “angry” for a long time.

“It was a night of horror as you can imagine. You know, there’s a lot of nuance and complexity here,” he told Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show” on Monday.

“But at the end of the day, I lost it, you know? I guess what I would say is, you never know what someone is going through. “Right now in the audience you’re sitting next to strangers, and someone’s mother died last week, someone’s child got sick, someone lost their job, someone just found out their spouse cheated on them,” Smith continued.

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“You don’t know what happens to people. And that night I experienced something. This does not justify my behavior at all.”

Will Smith will beat Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
Will Smith sat down for his first major TV interview since slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” alum shared that anger “bubbled up” inside her when The Rock, 57, made a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. (The actress suffers from alopecia.)

“It was a lot. He was a little boy who saw his father beat his mother. It all bubbled up in that moment,” Smith said.

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“I left. It was a really long-simmering anger. … Not the person I want to be.”

The Academy Award winner regained her composure when she remembered her 9-year-old nephew asking her about the incident.

“He’s the sweetest kid. … We come home, and it’s like she’s late to see her brother Will, and we’re sitting in my kitchen, and she’s on my lap, and she’s holding Oscar, and she’s like, ‘Why? Did you hit that man, Brother Will?’” he shared.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith on the red carpet.
Smith said she was “furious” after The Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.
Getty Images

When Noah Smith, 38, was asked what he learned from the controversial moment, the “Bad Boys” star replied: “People hurt people.”

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“You ask what I’ve learned, and it’s that we have to be good to each other,” he said.

“I think the most painful thing for me is that I took myself and made it difficult for others.”

Chris Rock and Will Smith share a laugh at the awards show.
Smith later apologized to Rock via social media.
FilmMagic, Inc

Smith, who failed to apologize to Rock at the awards ceremony but made the accusation in a social media video in July, said he needed to forgive himself “for being human”.

“Believe me, there’s no one who hates being human more than me,” he added.

After a knock heard around the world, Smith left the academy. The organization also banned the “Emancipation” star from participating in its events for 10 years.

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