Will Smith details bottled rage behind Chris Rock slap at Oscars

Will Smith issues apology to Chris Rock

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In a chat with Trevor Noah, 38, on his The Daily show, Will Smith spoke of his shame hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars which resulted in him being banned from the ceremony for 10 years. The 54-year-old said his actions were a result of “bottled rage” but added this didn’t justify his actions.

While hosting the ceremony, Chris said of Will’s wife: “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” appearing to refer to her shaved head caused by alopecia.

His words prompted Will to get off his seat and slap him round the face.

Once he returned to his seat, he also yelled at the host “keep my wife’s name out of your f***** mouth”.

On Monday’s episode of The Daily Show, host Noah brought up that Will had been quiet in the public eye since the incident. 

The actor then went on to give a further insight into what he described as “a horrific night”.

Will insisted he felt shame after his nine-year-old nephew asked him about the incident.

He explained: “He had stayed up late to see his uncle Will and we are sitting in my kitchen and he is on my lap and he is holding the Oscar and he is just like, ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?’

“It was a mess, you know. I don’t want to go too far into it to give people more to misunderstand.”

Will struggled to hold back tears as he went on to tell Trevor he was “going through something that night”.

“Not that that justifies my behaviour at all,” he continued.

“It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know? All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That is not who I want to be.

“I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”

He went on to say that there were “many nuances and complexities to it”, but added: “I just – I lost it.”

Will had previously said his wife Jade didn’t ask him to confront Chris over his comment.

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On the night however, she was certainly less than impressed with the host’s words.

Will added: “I guess what I would say is that you just never know what somebody’s going through.

“I understand how shocking that was for people… I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.

“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine,” he continued.

The actor admitted the aftermath of the slap was “killing” him, particularly as he tries to move on and promote his new movie Emancipation.

Will issued an apology to Chris shortly after the incident earlier this year.

Speaking at a comedy show at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J, Chris said of the punch: “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.

“I’m not a victim. Yeah, that s*** hurt motherf****r, but I shook that s*** off and went to work the next day.

“I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”

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