Will Smith was 'almost arrested' by police after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars

1 April 2022, 12:33

According to Academy Award producer Will Packer who spoke with ABC TV, the police were ready to arrest the actor for assaulting Rock onstage

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Will Smith could be have been arrested at this year's Oscar's after he slapped Chris Rock across the face for joking about Jada Pinkett-Smith's hair condition, according to Oscar's producer, Will Packer.

Will Smith 'refused to leave' the Oscars after he slapped Chris Rock on stage

Speaking with ABC TV, Packer claims: "They were saying, you know, this is battery, was a word they used in that moment. We will go get him, we are prepared, we're prepared to get him right now. You can press charges. We can arrest him".

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

"They were laying out the options. And as they were talking, Chris was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, 'No, I'm fine'. He was like, 'No, no, no.' Even to the point where I said, 'Rock, Let them finish'" he continued.

"The other LAPD officers finished laying out what his options were and they said, 'Would you like us to take any action?' And he said, 'No.' He said, 'No.'"

Earlier in the week, it was reported that Smith was asked to leave the award ceremony shortly after slapping the comedian in the face, refusing to exit.

In a statement released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, they claim: "Mr Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, [but] we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently".

Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘King Richard’ onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California
Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘King Richard’ onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. Picture: Getty

They also announced that 'they have initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr Smith for violations of the Academy's Standards of Conduct'. These include inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behaviour, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.

The Academy have claimed that 'action may be taken at its next board meeting on 18 April, which could result in suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions of Mr Smith'.

Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California
Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. Picture: Getty

During the live airing of the 94th annual show, Rock mocked Jada's hair loss whilst presenting the Best Documentary award saying "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see ya", after she publicly spoke out about suffering from alopecia last year.

After the joke, Smith walked onstage, slapped Rock in the face and then returned to his seat yelling "keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth" twice.

After the incident, he won the Best Actor award for his role of Richard Williams in the 2021 biopic King Richard; a film about the father and coach of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams.

Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘King Richard’ onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California
Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘King Richard’ onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. Picture: Getty

Since the incident, Smith apologised to Rock via Instagram, releasing a statement that read:

"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".

It continues: "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".

"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".

Will Smith attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California
Will Smith attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. Picture: Getty

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