Watch: Will Smith says he is ‘deeply remorseful’ for slapping Chris Rock & that he is ‘here when you’re ready to talk’

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·2-min read
Watch: Will Smith says he is ‘deeply remorseful’ for slapping Chris Rock & that he is ‘here when you’re ready to talk’
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Will Smith has apologised to Chris Rock in a new video in which he answers some of the questions on everyone’s lips after the notorious slap at the Oscars.

The King Richard actor said he reached out to the comedian, whom he slapped on live TV during the Oscars ceremony after a comment he made about Jada Pinkett Smith, but “the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk”.

Mr Smith left a public message for Chris Rock: “I will say to you Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was not acceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

He also apologised to Chris Rock’s family during the video he posted to Facebook on Friday.

He said he did not apologise to Chris Rock during his acceptance speech for Best Actor because “I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy.”

Will Smith went on to tell supporters and fans that he is “trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself”.

Will Smith collected the Oscar for best actor for his performance in King Richard (PA Wire)
Will Smith collected the Oscar for best actor for his performance in King Richard (PA Wire)

He said: “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened in that moment. I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.

“There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect.”

The 53-year-old went on: “Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down so it hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me and the work I’m trying to do is deeply remorseful and trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.

Chris Rock (Getty Images for National Board)
Chris Rock (Getty Images for National Board)

“I’m human and I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s***.

“I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking but I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world.

“If you hang on, I promise we will be able to be friends again.”

Will Smith also denied his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, had anything to do with the slap.

“I made a choice on my own.”

The Academy has sanctioned Smith by banning him from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years.

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