It’s been four months since the Oscars slap heard round the world. And now that Will Smith, 53, has finally publicly apologized to Chris Rock, 57, for the infamous March 27 onstage smack, HollywoodLife can confirm that the King Richard star’s family members are “proud” of him. Will apologized to comedian Chris in a July 29 Instagram video, which he captioned, “Thanx ya’ll.”
His wife Jada Pinkett Smith, 50, whom Will was ostensibly defending when he launched onto the stage to slap Chris over a joke at her expense, is particularly proud of him. “Jada is proud that Will finally made the decision to apologize publicly,” a source close to the famous couple told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “She feels that in addition to the written apology, him opening up about it by talking was a better way to convey the truth in his heart. Will wishes he could take it all back, but he can’t and all he can do is try to heal the wounds from here.”
The source further explained that Will is fully aware of the impact of the shocking moment, which was broadcast live. “He knows there are consequences for his actions, and it’s something he and Jada have discussed in great lengths,” they continued. “It’s not the example he wants to set for his kids, and she knows he can do better than that. Will explained why he decided to wait, and it wasn’t a decision he took lightly.”
Our source further told HL that Will waited because he wanted the apology to be received as sincere. “It’s something he’s struggled with because he didn’t want an apology to come off as inauthentic or disingenuous,” they continued.” He needed some time to do some soul searching and wanted to respond accordingly. Despite Will’s apology, he understands if Chris isn’t ready to accept it at this point. He gets that the slap didn’t only affect Chris, but it affected his career, his family and friends, it affected every aspect of his life. Will knows he can’t control that; all he can do is try to show how much he’s sorry and move forward.”
The Red Table Talk host isn’t the only one who noticed Will’s carefully thought-out apology. A separate source close to his daughter Willow, 21, explained why the long-awaited apology meant so much to her. “Willow and her brother Jaden were not in any way involved in what happened, but they did get a lot of heat for supporting their father following the incident and because of this they have both experienced a lot of backlash – in their career and with their friends,” they told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “They are both really proud of their father and really hope this can start the healing so that everyone can move on from this and come to a place of love.”
“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out,” Will said in part during his apology video. “So I will I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable.” Chris has yet to respond formally.