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Weighing in. Chris Rock’s mother, Rosalie Rock, has opened up about watching her son get slapped by Will Smith during the 94th annual Academy Awards.
“[Will,] You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye, and you went and made her day because she was mulled over laughing when it happened,” Rosalie, 77, told South Carolina’s WIS News 10 on Friday, April 22.
The motivational speaker, who watched the Oscars from the comfort of her own home, told WIS’ Billie Jean Shaw that she initially thought the encounter was staged until the 53-year-old Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum “started using obscenities” during the broadcast.
“When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me,” Rosalie explained, noting her pride in how her 57-year-old son handled the situation. “No one even heard his speech. No one was able to just be in the moment because everyone was sitting there like, ‘What just happened?’”
She continued: “I feel really bad that he never apologized. I mean his people wrote up a piece [via Instagram] saying, ‘I apologize to Chris Rock,’ but you see something like that is personal, you reach out.”
The Grown Ups actor presented the Best Documentary Feature award — which was won by Questlove — during the Oscars last month. During his segment, Rock joked that Jada Pinkett Smith — who married the King Richard star in 1997 — could star in a potential G.I. Jane sequel due to her shaved head. (The Red Table Talk cohost, 50, has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia.) Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes at the remark before Smith walked on stage, slapping Rock across the face.
“Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth,” the Philadelphia native, who went on to win Best Actor on a Leading Role during the ceremony, shouted after returning to his seat.
Us Weekly confirmed at the time that the Everybody Hates Chris alum declined to file a police report before Smith admitted he regretted his actions.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” Smith wrote, in part, via Instagram. “I would also like to apologize to The Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world.”
Smith later resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences before the organization banned him from attending their events for 10 years amid a formal review of his behavior. The Ali actor has since accepted their decision.
Rock, for his part, has remained relatively quiet about the incident.
“I’m OK, I have a whole show and I’m not talking about that until I get paid,” the South Carolina native told attendees during a Palm Springs, California, set earlier this month. “Life is good. I got my hearing back.”
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