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Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock in Emotional Video: 'I Am Deeply Remorseful'

"There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment."
  • Will Smith has been laying low since the now-infamous Oscars slap, but on Friday — four months after the incident — he released an emotional video in which he apologized again to Chris Rock, as well as his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and others affected by the altercation.

    Smith told viewers he was "fogged out" by the time of his Best Actor acceptance speech, which is why he didn't apologize to Rock at the time.

    "It's all fuzzy," said Smith. "I've reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."

    The King Richard star went on to apologize to Rock's mother and brother, Tony Rock.

    "There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment," he added. "There's no part of me that thinks that's the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults."

    Smith also made it clear that his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, did not tell him to "do something" after she rolled her eyes at Rock's joke about alopecia.

    He then expressed regret to his kids and family for "the heat that I brought on all of us," and to his fellow nominees that night, including Questlove, who accepted the Best Documentary award just minutes after the slap.

    "Disappointing people is my central trauma," said the actor. "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, I am deeply remorseful, and I'm trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I'm human, and I made a mistake, and I'm trying not to think of myself as a piece of sh*t."

    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Will Smith, 94th Academy Awards, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, Award Shows, Oscars