“‘I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all. It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know? All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That is not who I want to be.’”
That was Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Will Smith discussing his infamous Oscars slap with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah.
In his first late-night interview since hitting Oscars presenter and fellow comic Chris Rock during the live Academy Awards broadcast eight months ago, Smith called it a “horrific night” and said, “I just — I lost it, you know?”
Smith added that it was his 9-year-old nephew who brought the consequences of his actions home to him. “He had stayed up late to see his Uncle Will,” Smith recalled. “We are sitting in my kitchen and he is on my lap and he is holding the Oscar and he is just like, ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?’ … Damn it. Why are you trying to Oprah me?”
Watch the interview here:
Noah, who is leaving “The Daily Show” at the end of the week, told Smith, “I love you, but this is f—d up.”
But at the end of the interview, Noah also said, “I don’t think any one of us in life deserves to be defined by our one f—up.”
Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years. He has also resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, saying that he betrayed the trust of the Academy.
Previously, Smith posted a YouTube video answering questions that appeared to have been submitted by fans about what happened that night at the Oscars. He has also released a few written statements apologizing for his actions.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith said in a statement the day after the incident. “I was out of line and I was wrong.”