In what was an incredibly memorable Academy Awards, best actor winner Smith hit Rock for making an insensitive joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. Rock had jested that the actress was due to make GI Jane 2 next, which prompted Smith to rush on stage and hit Rock, before yelling “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.”
Following the ceremony, the LAPD issued a statement, which read: “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report.
“If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” it added.
The 53-year-old — who last year admitted that he and Pinkett-Smith had had extramarital relations within their marriage — apologised for the altercation in his Best Actor acceptance speech for King Richard. Apologising to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and his fellow nominees, but not to Rock, he said tearfully: “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. Love will make you do crazy things. I hope the academy invites me back.”
Appearing to want to dilute the drama, Smith did not come backstage yesterday to talk to the press as winners normally do.
Reactions to the slap were divided. Smith’s 23-year-old son, Jayden, took to Twitter to write, “And That’s How We Do It [sic],” while Mia Farrow commented, “It was just a joke. Jokes are what Chris Rock does. Always has been edgy. This was a mild joke for him. And I love GI Jane.”