Jada Pinkett Smith Thought Will Smith’s Oscar Slap Was Staged

In a recent interview, Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about her reaction to the shocking moment when her husband, Will Smith, slapped Chris Rock at the ABC 2022 Oscars ceremony.

Pinkett Smith admitted that she initially thought it was all part of a skit: “I thought, ‘This is a skit,'” she revealed in an interview with PEOPLE tied to her new memoir, Worthy. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’ It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit,” she shared.

Pinkett Smith also recounted her first words to Will Smith after the incident, asking him if he was okay. Pinkett Smith supported him, stating that she would be by his side while he figured things out for himself. Following the fallout from the slap, Will was allowed to keep his Best Actor award, which he had won for his performance in King Richard that night.

However, he was banned from attending Academy-related events for 10 years. Will Smith addressed the incident in a video later that year and in a November 2022 interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. On the other hand, Pinkett Smith called for Will Smith and Rock to reconcile on an episode of her show, Red Table Talk.

During his interview with Noah, Smith described the night as “horrific” and acknowledged the situation’s many nuances and complexities. He admitted to going through something that night but emphasized that it didn’t justify his behavior.

He expressed the importance of kindness, stating, “we’ve just gotta be nice to each other, man.” He reflected on the pain he caused others due to his own personal struggles, saying, “I took my hurt and made it hard for other people.”

Pinkett Smith’s recent remarks come after she revealed she and Will had actually separated in 2016 and have been living separate lives for nearly seven years. When asked why their relationship fractured, she explained that there were many factors and that they had become exhausted from trying to fulfil each other’s expectations.

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