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LAPD says Chris Rock declined to file complaint after Will Smith’s slap at Oscars

Will Smith slapped Rock on live TV after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, stunning viewers


Will Smith slaps Chris Rock onstage during the show at the 94th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times

By Colleen Shalby
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Oscar presenter Chris Rock has declined to file a police report over actor Will Smith’s slap during the live broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony, the department said in a release Sunday night.

“If the party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” the statement said.

Actor and comedian Rock was presenting the Best Documentary Oscar when he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, apparently alluding to her shaved head. Pinkett Smith disclosed in 2018 she had developed the hair-loss condition alopecia.

“I can’t wait to see you in ‘G.I. Jane 2,’” Rock said, referring to the 1997 film starring Demi Moore as a soldier with a shaved head.

Smith rushed the stage, slapped Rock and shouted at him.

“Keep my wife’s name out your f— mouth!” Smith said when he got back to his seat. The profanity was bleeped out on ABC and left audiences at the Dolby Theater and at home watching on TV or computers stunned.

Later in the night, Will Smith won the Best Actor award for the film " King Richard,” playing Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

During his acceptance speech, Smith said Williams did anything to protect his family, which appeared to be an attempt at explaining his slap. He also said that fellow lead actor nominee Denzel Washington, who huddled with him after the slapping incident, had told him minutes before his award was announced, “At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.”

Smith went on to apologize to the Academy and his fellow nominees — but not to Rock.

An LAPD spokesman said there was no deadline to file a complaint and that it would “complete a report at any time in the future.”

“For misdemeanor crimes, the victim cooperation is important in successful prosecution,” the spokesman added.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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