WASHINGTON — Will Smith's mother is breaking her silence on the most shocking and talked about moment of the 94th Academy Awards.
In an interview with Philadelphia's ABC 6, Carolyn Smith said that she was surprised to see her son slap Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair, which she has been losing because of alopecia.
"He is a very even, people person," Carolyn Smith described to the TV station. "That's the first time I've ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime... I've never seen him do that."
Carolyn Smith said that she is incredibly proud of her son, and does not want this controversy to define the Philly native's decades-long career, including his newly-acquired best actor title, which he won just minutes after his confrontation with Rock.
During his acceptance speech, a tearful Will Smith apologized to the Academy for his actions earlier in the show, but also seemed to defend what he did and didn't mention Rock by name. On Monday evening, he issued a formal apology to the comedian, the Academy and viewers at home, saying he was “out of line” and that his actions are “not indicative of the man I want to be.”
"I know how he works; how hard he works," Carolyn Smith said. "I am proud of him being him."
According to ABC 6, Carolyn Smith told her son the day after the Oscars to "get some rest and go on vacation."
Her daughter, Ellen Smith, added that she has constantly seen her brother shine under the Hollywood spotlight and thrive through the demanding work of his career.
"Everyone has been bullied and abused in some kind of way," Ellen Smith said to ABC6. "It really broke my heart to listen to the things he said he had to go through to get to where he is."