Watch Will Smith Apologize to Chris Rock and His Family

Will Smith publicly apologized to Chris Rock in a video posted online Friday, four months after the infamous Oscars slap.

Smith previously expressed his regret in a statement, but this was his first public, on-camera discussion of the slap, which came after Rock made a joke onstage about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair. (She had previously discussed experiencing hair loss due to alopecia.) Smith walked onstage and slapped Rock, who made the joke while presenting an award. He then yelled at him from the audience. Soon after the slap, Smith went back onstage to shout, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!” Moments later, Smith returned to the stage to accept the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard.

Smith’s apology came in a video in which he responded to questions he said he had received from fans.

In response to the question,”Why didn’t you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech?,” Smith answered:

“I was fogged out by that point. It is all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that, he’s not ready to talk. When he is, he will reach out. I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk. I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview that Chris’ mother did, and that was one of the things I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment. So I want to apologize to Chris’ mother, I want to apologize to Chris’ family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable.”

Will Smith apology video Chris Rock

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars

Will Smith continued: “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment. And I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that is the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”

He also said his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, did not put him up to the smack. He said he made the decision to slap Rock in part “out of my own history with Chris,” which has included past jokes the comedian has made at Smith’s expense.

“Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe,” Smith said.

He also said he was pained not to have lived up to people’s expectations.

“I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself,” he said. “I’m human. I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s—.”

He ended the video by saying to the people he had let down: “I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking, but I promise you I am deeply committed and devoted to putting light, and love, and joy into the world. And if you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”

Smith’s video came days after Chris Rock addressed the situation for the first time at any length during a standup show in New Jersey.

“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock said, according to NBC News. He later added, “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that s— hurt, motherf—er. But I shook that s— off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”

In a statement the day after the Oscars, Will Smith released a statement saying: “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. 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.”

Main image: Will Smith, on Youtube.