Actor Will Smith posted an emotional new apology for punching Chris Rock at the Oscars earlier this year, revealing in a lengthy video clip that he hooked up with the comedian who wasn’t “ready to talk” yet.
Smith, who went on to win Best Actor, took the stage and slapped The Rock for joking about his wife in an incident that eclipsed the March ceremony, which was broadcast live around the world.
“Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable. And I’m here when you’re ready to talk,” Smith repeated in the nearly six-minute video, in which he also answered fans’ questions about the shocking moment that tarnished his image.
Smith issued a public apology shortly after the incident and was banned from attending the Academy Awards for the next 10 years after the slap.
The 53-year-old actor also turned down his Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences membership, although the organization did not cancel his Best Actor award for King Richard.
In a video posted to social media on Friday, Smith said his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who sat next to him and grimaced when The Rock joked about her, said nothing to provoke his attack.
“I made the choice on my own,” he said, also apologizing to Pinkett-Smith and the couple’s children “for what I brought on all of us.”
“No part of me thinks this is the best way to deal with feeling disrespected or insulted,” says the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor, who at one point in the video appears to be fighting back tears.
The Rock responded to a slap earlier this month during a stand-up show in New Jersey, according to Us Weekly.
“Whoever speaks words that hurt has never been punched in the face,” he reportedly joked, before adding, “I’m not a victim… I don’t go to the hospital for cuts.”