“It was in the heat of the moment and it was him overreacting. He knows that, she knows that. They’re in agreement that he overreacted,” a source exclusively tells Us Weekly about where the couple stands now.
During the 94th annual Academy Awards, Rock, 57, made a joke about the Girls Trip star’s shaved head. After Pinkett Smith, 50, rolled her eyes at the comment, her husband, 53, approached the stage and slapped the Saturday Night Live alum.
“Will Smith just smacked the s—t out of me,” the South Carolina native said in censored footage that later circulated online. As he returned to his seat, the Suicide Squad star yelled back at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.” The Grown Ups star responded that he wouldn’t discuss Pinkett Smith again.
The incident came three months after the Scream 2 actress took to social media to address her hair loss as a result of alopecia. “Now at this point, I can only laugh. Y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia and just all of a sudden one day, look at this line right here,” she said about her scalp via Instagram in December 2021. “Now this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide, so I thought I’d just share it so y’all not asking any questions — but you know, mama’s going to put some rhinestones in there, and I’m going to make me a little crown.”
Earlier that year, Pinkett Smith gushed about her spouse’s support amid her decision to shave her head.
“He loves it,” the Maryland native said during a September 2021 episode of Red Table Talk. “It was just time. I was just ready for that kind of expression and release. I’m so glad I did it. It was such a beautiful experience and such a freedom. I feel more connected to myself and to the great diving in a very special way. I was just like, ‘I’m over it.’ It was that moment. I was just like, ‘I’m done. I’m just done with the worry. I’m done with the care. I’m just done.’”
According to the insider, the A Different World alum didn’t want Smith to get in an altercation to defend her. “She’s not one of these women that needs protecting. He didn’t need to do what he did, she didn’t need protecting. She’s not a wallflower,” the source shared. “She’s a strong woman, an opinionated woman and she can fight her own battles. But she will stand by him.”
The couple, who have been married since 1997, received support from their loved ones amid the scandal. “They protect their family. They’re all about their family and their kids. They’ve done everything to build this life for themselves,” the source continued about the pair, who share son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 21, together. “They are very much protected in their own lives and do the absolute best they can to protect their loved ones.”
Since the incident, Smith issued an apology for the “unacceptable and inexcusable” actions that took place during the awards show. “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,” he wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, March 28.
The I Am Legend star added: “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.”
Pinkett Smith, for her part, seemingly reacted to the situation when she shared an Instagram quote on Tuesday, March 29, which read, “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.”
With reporting by Diana Cooper