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Will Smith makes first public appearance since Oscars slap

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Will Smith was spotted at an airport in India’s Mumbai city on Saturday, his first public appearance since the Oscars ceremony during which he walked up to presenter Chris Rock and struck him in the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith.

Indian photographer Viral Bhayani posted a short video clip of the actor waving and smiling at the paparazzi at Mumbai’s Kalina airport. The actor also took photos with fans at the airport. Bhayani said Smith was staying in the Juhu area of the city.

The Hindustan Times reported that the actor was staying at the JW Marriott Hotel in Juhu and would leave the city on Saturday.

On 1 April Smith stepped down from the Academy. He said in his resignation letter: “I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”

Smith won the Best Actor award the same night.

“I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken,” he said.

On Friday, Jada Pinkett Smith said at the beginning of Red Table Talk’s new season the Smith family is focussed on healing.

The 50-year-old actor said: “Considering all that has happened in the last few weeks, the Smith family has been focusing on deep healing. Some of the discoveries around our healing will be shared when the time calls.”

It’s not clear why Smith is in India, but this is not his first trip to the country.

In 2020 Indian spiritual leader Sadhguru, the founder of the Isha Foundation, shared a behind-the-scenes video on Instagram in which he is seen arriving at Smith’s home on his bike.

The actor said following the meeting: “Sadhguru is in town. I have been following him for a while. He wrote a wonderful book called Inner Engineering. I want my family to meet spiritual people, to start interacting with people who are not hooked on the material world.” It’s possible that this is a spiritual trip, since a saffron-clad monk is seen beside Smith in Bhayani’s video.

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