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Speaking to People to promote her memoir – which features a foreword written by Rock – Jones said: “That shit was humiliating. It really affected him. People need to understand his daughters, his parents, saw that. He had to go to counselling with his daughters.”
Jones, who has been friends with Rock since the mid-’90s, said she was “infuriated” by the Oscars slap, adding: “You don’t know that I was going to jump in my car and roll up there. I was so fucking mad on so many levels.”
“Chris Rock did a fucking joke,” Jones continued. “I know Will, too… I was like, you couldn’t handle that shit afterwards. This is the Oscars. The whole world is watching.”
At the Oscars ceremony in March 2022, Smith slapped Rock onstage after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Following the incident, Smith apologised to Rock, resigned from the Academy, and was banned from attending Academy events for 10 years.
Smith later released another apology on YouTube in July 2022 where he described his behaviour as “unacceptable”, adding: “I just didn’t realise, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment.”
Sean Penn recently criticised the response from his fellow actors to the slap, questioning why his peers stood up and applauded Smith’s Best Actor win for King Richard later in the night.
“I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once,” Penn told Variety. “He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so fucking good in King Richard. So why the fuck did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid fucking thing?”
Referring to his time spent in prison in 1987 for punching a man, Penn added: “Why did I go to fucking jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?”
Since the incident, Rock has joked about the Oscars slap during various stand-up shows, including a set with Dave Chappelle.