Actor Will Smith expressed regret again for slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards this year, saying in a new interview that he “lost it” after the comedian made a joke about his wife.
In his first major sit-down since the infamous Oscars slap, Smith told “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah that the March altercation was a “horrific night” for him.
“There’s many nuances and complexities to it … but at the end of the day, just, I lost it,” Smith said. “I guess what I would say is, you just never know what somebody’s going through … and I was going through something that night.”
He added that his explanation doesn’t “justify my behavior” and said his actions that night are “not who I want to be.”
The actor, who is promoting “Emancipation,” a new film he stars in heading to theaters in December, said he learned from the “shocking” incident that “we just gotta be nice to each other.”
“The thing that was most painful for me is, I took my heart and made it hard for other people,” Smith said in the interview.
During the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles over the spring, Rock joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, quipping that she should appear in “G.I. Jane 2,” in a reference to the main character’s bald head.
Jada Pinkett Smith has been diagnosed with alopecia areata, a disease that causes hair loss.
Will Smith took to the the stage after Rock made the joke and slapped him, shocking audiences both present and at home. Smith returned to his seat and told the comedian to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth, adding an expletive.
Minutes later, Smith returned to the state to accept his best actor Oscar for “King Richard,” receiving a standing ovation.
Smith apologized for the slap a day after the ceremony through a statement.
In July, Smith released a video apology, saying that he was “deeply remorseful” about the incident and calling it a “mistake.”
In the “Daily Show” interview, Smith said there was a “rage that had been bottled for a really long time” that came out that night.
“It was a lot of things,” Smith said. “All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That’s not who I want to be.”
The Oscars reportedly banned Smith from any Academy events for 10 years.