Will Smith is ‘still remorseful’ over slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars and has tried to make amends with the comedian but all attempts were ‘unsuccessful.’
A source told PEOPLE that the Oscar-winning King Richard star has “felt terrible for so long” for striking Rock onstage after the latter made a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith. “He’s tried unsuccessfully to make amends in the best way he could with Chris,” the source said.
“But beyond that, family is important to him,” the source added, noting that Smith “leaned on” family — also comprised of sons Trey and Jaden and daughter Willow — in the aftermath of the incident. “It all has helped him look inside and mature. He is better but still remorseful.”
The actor, 54, sent shockwaves around the world when he slapped Rock, 58, onstage after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Rock recently blasted Will and Jada’s relationship while addressing the slap on new Netflix show, Selective Outrage.
An industry source told People that Rock ‘is riding high from the Netflix special.’
They added: ‘He said what he needed to say and doesn’t give a s*** about the reaction either way. He isn’t worried.
‘People have been waiting for [Rock’s] reaction for a year. For the most part, I think it was well received. People don’t expect sugarcoating from Chris Rock.’
During his new Netflix standup special which premiered live Saturday night, Rock verbally hit back at Smith a year after the incident that saw Smith banned from the Academy.
In a nearly two-minute segment, Rock fired off at Smith’s decision to slap him on stage at the awards ceremony, making Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith the butt of his joke about her infidelity.
‘Everybody called him a b**ch, and who’s he hitting? Me,’ Rock joked to a crowd that included a friend of Meghan Markle’s who was spotted laughing backstage, according to Page Six.
The comedian also took aim at the former ‘Suits’ actress during his special, saying she was ‘acting all dumb’ for not realizing the royal family are the ‘OGs of racism.’