Will Smith has apologized to Chris Rock for his infamous slap at the Oscars in his first public statement in three months.
In a five-minute video posted to Instagram, he spoke directly to the camera and answered a series of questions from social media about the March 27 incident.
The Hollywood star took the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss as a result of the condition alopecia.
When asked why he didn’t apologize to Rock minutes later during his best actor acceptance speech for King Richard, Smith said: “At that point I was in a fog. It’s all blurry.
“I have reached out to Chris and the message that has come back is that he is not ready to speak and if he is he will get in touch.
“So I’m going to tell you Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’ll be here whenever you’re ready to speak.”
In the video, Smith also apologized to Rock’s mother, father and younger brother Tony, an actor he said is “my man,” before adding, “But this is probably irreparable.”
He added: “I’ve spent the last three months reviewing and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened in that moment.
“And I’m not going to try to unpack all of that now, but I can tell you all that there’s no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at that moment.
“No part of me thinks this is the optimal way to deal with feelings of disrespect or insult.”
When asked if his wife prompted his decision to storm the stage and smack Rock in the middle of his presentation of the Best Documentary award, won by Questlove for Summer Of Soul, Smith replied, “No, I have mine Made my own choice based on my own experience and history with Chris.
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“Jada had nothing to do with it.”
Addressing his wife directly, Smith added, “I’m sorry baby and I want to apologize to my kids and family for the heat I’ve brought on all of us.”
Smith also apologized to the other nominees whose Oscar wins were overshadowed by the slap excitement, including The Roots frontman Questlove.
“I can still see Questlove’s eyes – it happened at Questlove’s award – and I’m sorry, that’s not really enough,” he added.
Concluding the video, Smith said he was “deeply remorseful and I try to be remorseful without feeling ashamed of myself.”
He added: “If you hold on, I promise we can be friends again.”
Smith was banned from any Academy events or programs for 10 years following his “unprecedented” behavior at the 94th Academy Awards.
Two days after the incident, he issued a public apology to Rock and the Oscars production team, saying he had an “emotional” reaction to the joke and that “violence in all its forms is toxic and destructive.”
Pinkett Smith also called for a “season of healing” in her own social media post.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/will-smith-posts-apology-to-chris-rock-months-after-oscars-slap-41877431.html Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock months after Oscar smack