Tatyana Ali defends Will Smith: ‘He’s a beautiful person!’

Tatyana Ali has defended Will Smith as a ‘beautiful person‘ credit:Bang Showbiz
Tatyana Ali has defended Will Smith as a ‘beautiful person‘ credit:Bang Showbiz

Tatyana Ali has defended Will Smith as a “beautiful person”.

The former ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ actress, 44, who played Will’s cousin Ashley Banks on the NBC sitcom from 1990 to 1996, didn’t want to directly address how Will, 54, assaulted comic Chris Rock, 58, at last year’s Oscars.

But she told Page Six at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon in New York: “He’s a beautiful person who has done so much good.

“I don’t want to talk about it (the Oscars slap) because he is somebody who is very close to me and it’s hurtful.”

She also told how her parents kept he on the straight and narrow as a child star.

Ali added: “My family doesn’t care about whether I’m in entertainment or a teacher.

“They care about me. I have friends who didn’t fare very well and I think it has to do with when you’re a kid.

“Yes, you’re working, but you’re still a kid and you need someone to protect you and say no. My parents weren’t playing that at all. I had chores like my sisters. I had to go to college.”

She defended Will after Chris’ actor and comedian brother Tony Rock claimed the actor did not reach out to his older sibling to apologise for assaulting him at the 2022 Academy Awards.

He insisted his side of the story was true despite Will, 54, saying in a video in July he had “reached out” to Chris, but the stand-up had not been “ready to talk”.

Tony – who Will cast in his 2005 superhero comedy ‘Hitch’ – told BigBoyTV about Will’s claim: “That wasn’t true, that wasn’t true. I think like, two nights later, he said, ‘I reached out to Chris, and he didn’t want to talk.’ That wasn't true.”

The day after he smacked Chris on the face at the Oscars for joking about his 51-year-old wife Jada’s buzzcut, Will said on Instagram: “I would like to apologise to you Chris, I was out of line and I was wrong.”

And in July 2022 the actor posted a grovelling video in which he told Chris: “I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”