Chris Rock has decided not to file a police report against Will Smith after the King Richard actor hit him in the face onstage at the Oscars on Sunday — at least for now.
Los Angeles Police Department officers on the scene at the well-guarded event at the Dolby Theatre spoke with Rock soon after the ABC telecast ended, sources confirm. If Rock had filed a report with the LAPD and Smith was charged with assault, the newly minted Oscar winner could have faced up to six months behind bars and a fine up to $100,000.
In California, simple assault is categorized as a misdemeanor. Rock still has up to six months to file a report.
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“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the police said in a statement tonight. “The incident involved one individual slapping another,” they added. “The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
Seen by millions around the world, then Best Actor nominee Smith stomped up in front of a packed Dolby in the last hour of the 94th Academy Awards to whack the former Oscar host for a crack Rock made about Jada Pinkett Smith.
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“Will Smith just smacked the sh*t out of me,” a stunned Rock said as Smith headed back to his front-row seat at Sunday’s ceremony. Rock joked about how Pinkett Smith should star in G.I. Jane 2. The Matrix actress suffers from alopecia, which causes hair loss.
While Oscar viewers saw Smith hit Rock, they didn’t hear any of the latter’s response as the ABC broadcast show bleeped out everything he said.
#Oscars | Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock In The Face On Oscars Stage After Jab At Wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s Appearance https://t.co/6TZkI48QNh pic.twitter.com/ibpffmh2Mc
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) March 28, 2022
The audience outside of a stunned Dolby also didn’t hear what Smith said back, but one’s lip-reading skills didn’t have to be too advanced to figure it out. “Keep my wife’s name out your f*cking mouth,” Smith exclaimed from his seat. Twice.
Although Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry came over to speak with Smith, no one in the theater tried to remove the former Fresh Prince from the venue. Mere minutes later, Smith was back onstage accepting his anticipated Best Actor award.
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“I want to apologize to the Academy,” he said with tears running down his face during a long speech. “I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” Smith added, quipping he hoped to be invited back. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams ..love will make you do crazy things.”
Smith did not apologize to Rock, at least not in front of the cameras. Unsurprisingly, Smith never came backstage at the Oscars on Sunday to talk to the media as winners traditionally do.
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