Chris Rock’s mom speaks out about Will Smith slap

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Chris Rock’s mother is speaking out after actor Will Smith slapped her son during the Academy Awards last month.

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In a Friday interview with WIS-TV’s “Soda City Live,” South Carolina native Rose Rock said she was watching the March 27 awards ceremony on TV when Smith, apparently enraged by Rock’s “G.I. Jane” joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith, walked onstage and struck the comedian. Pinkett Smith has a shaved head and suffers from alopecia, a hair-loss condition, The Associated Press previously reported.

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“When Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of us, but he really slapped me,” Rose Rock, 77, told WIS. “Because when you hurt my child, you hurt me.”

She said she initially believed the confrontation was staged but changed her mind when Smith began to use “obscenities,” WIS reported. After returning to his seat in the audience, Smith appeared to shout, “Keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth,” Variety reported last month.

Smith returned to the stage later to accept the best actor Oscar. He apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during his acceptance speech, adding that he is fiercely protective of his family, the AP previously reported.

“Art imitates life,” he said at the time. “I look like the crazy father. But love will make you do crazy things.”

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The next day, Smith took to Instagram to apologize to Rock.

“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” read the post. “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.”

But Rose Rock, a motivational speaker, said Friday that Smith should have apologized to her son personally, according to WIS.

“I feel really bad that he never apologized,” the mother of 10 told the TV station. “I mean, his people wrote up a piece saying, ‘I apologize to Chris Rock,’ but you see, something like that is personal. You reach out.”

She added that if she had the chance to speak to Smith, whom she has never met, she would ask, “What in the world were you thinking?”

“So many things could’ve happened from that (slap),” she told WIS. “Chris could’ve stepped back and fallen. You really could’ve been taken out in handcuffs. You didn’t think.”

Rock declined to file a police report following the incident, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement last month. Smith has since resigned from the academy, which later banned the actor from its events for 10 years, E! News reported.