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Will Smith Is ‘Happy’ and ‘In a Really Good Place’ After Oscars Apology to Chris Rock: ‘A Huge Weight’ Was Lifted (Exclusive)

Will Smith Is ‘In a Really Good Place’ After Oscars Apology to Chris Rock
Will Smith and Chris Rock. Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock; MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Letting go. Will Smith is moving forward after his open apology to Chris Rock about the now-infamous 2022 Oscars slap, a source exclusively tells Us Weekly.

Related: Will Smith and Chris Rock's 2022 Oscars Incident: Everything to Know

“Will is in a really good place, as good as it can get at this stage,” the insider explains to Us. “Ever since sharing his apology with the world, a huge weight has definitely lifted off of his shoulders.”

After spending a few months out of the spotlight, the King Richard star, 52, took to social media to upload an emotional video on July 29. At the beginning of the clip, text appears on screen, reading, “It’s been a minute … Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work … You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.”

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum went on to reveal that he contacted Rock, 57, in the wake of their feud. “The message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk,” Smith explained. “And when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk. … I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s–t.”

The source tells Us that despite the comedian’s unwillingness to chat, Smith is both “happy” and “keeping positive” as he begins to think about the next phase of his career. “He’s hopeful for the future and that his life will turn around,” the insider shares.

Related: They Went There! The Biggest Celeb Feuds of All Time

The I Am Legend actor made headlines during the 2022 Oscars after he rushed to the stage and slapped Rock across the face while the SNL alum was presenting an award. After Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss, which she experiences due to alopecia, Smith then shouted from his seat for Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”

Following the big event, the Men In Black star publicly apologized for his “inexcusable behavior” via a lengthy Instagram message. Smith was also banned from all Oscar-related events for the next decade, and he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In his July video, which expanded more on the situation, Smith also took the opportunity to apologize to the Madagascar star’s mother. “I saw an interview that Chris’ mother did and, you know, that was just one of the things about that moment, I just didn’t realize and, you know, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment,” the Pennsylvania native explained. “So I want to apologize to Chris’ mother, I want to apologize to Chris’ family.”

Related: Everything Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith Have Said About Their Marriage

Rock, for his part, has only addressed the situation during his stand-up comedy sets. “I’m not a victim, motherf—ker,” he said during a show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, in late July, days before Smith’s apology, according to an eyewitness. “Yeah, that s–t hurt, motherf–ker. But I shook that s–t off and went to work the next day … I don’t go to the hospital for a papercut.”

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