New Report Conflicts Diddy’s Claim That Will Smith & Chris Rock Squashed Their Beef After The Oscars

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

New Report Conflicts Diddy’s Claim That Will Smith & Chris Rock Squashed Their Beef After The Oscars

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The big story of Oscar night was, unfortunately, not about movies. It was about one man slapping another man to defend his wife’s honor. Right before Questlove accepted Best Documentary Feature for his excellent Summer Of Soul, Will Smith walked on stage and smacked Chris Rock, who’d just cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair. It was not something I ever imagined happening back in the late ’90s when Smith’s Big Willie Style hits and Rock’s “No Sex (In The Champagne Room)” were both staples of my MTV diet.

Another man whose videos were inescapable back then, Sean “Diddy” Combs, now says Smith and Rock have settled their conflict. Talking to Page Six at the Vanity Fair post-Oscars party, Diddy said, “That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that. It’s all love. They’re brothers.”

UPDATE: TMZ reports that, contrary to Diddy’s assertion of peace, Rock and Smith have not reconciled. Their source, who appears to be from Rock’s camp, claims Rock left the Oscars immediately after presenting the award, later attended Guy Oseary’s party (not the Vanity Fair party), and has not spoken to Smith since the altercation. The source also says Rock did not know Pinkett-Smith had alopecia.

While accepting the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in King Richard later in the night, Smith notably apologized to everyone but Rock: “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all of my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment, and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me; it’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.” Rock declined to press charges.

At the Vanity Fair party, Smith was also spotted dancing to his own “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” while holding his Oscar.

In a statement Monday, the Academy addressed the altercation:

The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.

UPDATE: Will Smith has issued a formal apology to Chris Rock. Posting to social media, Smith wrote, “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.” See the entire statement below.

Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.

I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

I am a work in progress.

Sincerely,

Will

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