Will Smith travels to India for 'spiritual purposes' following Oscars slap

27 April 2022, 15:34

The King Richard actor was seen for the first time since the slap in India for spiritual purposes after admitting that "change takes time, and he's willing to do the work"

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Will Smith has reportedly travelled to India to seek peace following the slapping incident at 2022 Academy Awards after he was spotted for the first time arriving at a private airport in Mumbai.

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A source close to the actor told PEOPLE Magazine that 'Will traveled to India for spiritual purposes, to practice yoga and meditation' following him being banned from the Academy Awards for 10 years.

Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for "King Richard" onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022
Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for "King Richard" onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. Picture: Getty

AMPAS president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson released a statement on about Smith's ban a week after the incident that read:

"The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards" he said.

"The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage".

Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock in the face during the live airing of the show after he joked about Jada's hair loss on stage whilst presenting the award for Best Documentary saying "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see ya".

Smith then walked onstage, slapped him in the face before returning to his seat yelling "keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth" twice.

Will Smith slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022
Will Smith slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. Picture: Getty

After the incident, Smith shared his first statement apologising to Rock for his behaviour saying:

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally".

"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" the statement continues.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. Picture: Getty

"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will".

Rosalie Rock and comedian Chris Rock arrive at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
Rosalie Rock and comedian Chris Rock arrive at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. Picture: Getty

On Sunday 24th, Rock's mum Rosalie Rock spoke out for the first time in an interview with a South Carolina TV station, giving her opinion on the incident.

"When he [Will] slapped Chris, he slapped all of us" she said, continuing "He really slapped me. 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".

"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?’".

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