Members of Will Smith’s family express surprise at Oscar slap

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 2:11 PM EDT
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(Gray News) - Count Will Smith’s family among those who were shocked by him slapping comedian Chris Rock Sunday night during the 94th Academy Awards telecast.

His mother Carolyn Smith told WPVI in Philadelphia that such a display of violence is out of character for him.

“He is a very even, people person. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go off. The first time in his lifetime,” she said. “... As I’ve said, I’ve never seen him do that.”

His sister Ellen Smith said her brother has gone through a lot on his way to fame.

“People say I wish they were in such and such, your shoes, and oh those are my goals,” she said. “But you don’t know what it takes to get there. And I’ve had conversations with him, and it really broke my heart listening to the things he says he went through to get to where he is.”

Smith has since apologized for his attack on Chris Rock after Rock, a presenter at the awards show, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said Monday they are investigating the incident. Rock has declined to press charges.

Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. CNN Newsource contributed to this report.