Richard Williams Breaks His Silence On Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock At The Oscars

Venus and Serena Williams’ father was the subject of Smith’s film ‘King Richard.’

Richard Williams, the father of tennis icons Serena and Venus Williams, has spoken out about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th annual Academy Awards.

The 80-year-old told NBC News via his son Chavoita LeSane, “We don’t know all the details of what happened. But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defense.”

LeSane also said his father was surprised just like everyone else. However, according to Diddy, Smith and Rock made amends backstage.

RELATED: Will Smith And Chris Rock Share Extremely Tense Moment On Oscar Stage

Just before presenting the award for the documentary feature category, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, saying, “Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” Rock’s joke was in reference to Jada’s close-shaved head, a possible result of her recent struggles with the hair condition alopecia.

G.I. Jane was a 1997 starring Demi Moore who played a character that shaved her hair off during a vigorous U.S. Navy program. The popular film tackled sexism in the military.

After the joke, Smith, 53, walked on stage and slapped Rock. He returned to his seat and shouted at the 57-year-old to “keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.” Within the hour, Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard Williams in King Richard. During his acceptance speech, Smith apologized to the Academy, but not specifically to Rock. The incident reverberated across every corner of the internet, with many debating whether or not Smith was justified in his retaliation.

The LAPD was made aware of the incident, but Rock had declined to file a police report or press charges. However, the Academy Awards released a statement that they will conduct a “formal review.”

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