Renowned actor Denzel Washington said that the “devil got ahold” of Will Smith when he slapped Chris Rock across the face at the Oscars.
Last Sunday (March 27), Smith calmly walked up onto the Oscars stage and struck Rock after he made a joke about his wife’s hair. Jada Pinkett Smith shaved her hair last year after publicly revealing that she has alopecia, a condition that causes thinning hair and balding.
“Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth,” Smith yelled at Rock from his seat.
During a commercial break, Washington Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper were spotted talking to Smith and appearing to encourage him before he received the award for Best Actor for King Richard.
In conversation with Pastor T.D. Jakes for the Jakes’ International Leadership Summit, Washington addressed his thoughts on the matter.
The video interview was exclusively hosted on The Wrap.
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“There’s a saying when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong…Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because he’s trying to do something right. And for whatever reason the devil got a hold of him that night,” Washington told Jakes.
Declining to reveal what else the men discussed, Washington told Jakes that they prayed together.
“Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of this situation, but I know the only solution was prayer,” he said.
When Smith accepted his Oscar, he referred to Washington’s words.
“Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you,'” Smith said.
Although he apologised to the academy (but not Rock) as he accepted the award, Smith also appeared to defend his actions and said that “love will make you do crazy things.”
He also called Richard Williams – the father of tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams – a “fierce defender of his family.”
Smith has since apologised to Rock for his “out of line” behaviour towards him at the awards show.
And on Friday, he announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for his “shocking, painful, and inexcusable” actions.
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