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Will Smith’s mother has reacted to her son slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday night, saying it’s the first time she’s ever ‘seen him go off’.
Smith had stormed onto the stage to confront Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle.
"Jada, I love you - G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it!" Rock told her, as a nod to Demi Moore's 1997 film G.I. Jane, which saw lead actor Demi Moore shave her head for the role.
Pinkett Smith, who has previously spoken out about her struggles with alopecia, didn't look happy in the slightest - at one point even rolling her eyes as Rock tried to defend himself, telling her: "That was a nice one!"
Moments later, Smith could be seen striding up on stage and slapping a stunned Rock before storming off stage, shouting from his seat: "Keep my wife's name out your f**king mouth."
Smith’s mum Carolyn, 85, has since spoken about her son’s actions, recalling how out of character his behaviour seemed to her that night.
Speaking to ABC’s Action News, she said: “He is a very even, people person. That's the first time I've ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime. I've never seen him do that.”
But while she may have found the slap unexpected, Carolyn said she felt ‘proud’ of her son – who went on to win the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard. Saying she got dressed up to watch the ceremony from home, she revealed: “I am proud of him being him.”
Carolyn said she had desperately hoped he would win the Best Actor accolade, as she felt he deserved it – also admitting she believes he should have been given an Oscar for ‘all of’ his films.
She continued: “I know how he works, how hard he works. And he never half steps. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting. When I heard the name, I was just, 'Yes!'”
Carolyn said she spoke to her Oscar-winning son on Monday and told him to get some rest and go on vacation, in order to ride out the controversy.
Will Smith's younger sister Ellen, 50 - was also with their mother, sister Pam and others at the family home to watch his big moment on the TV - said she’s watched him constantly excel under pressure under the spotlight of Hollywood.
She added: “I've had conversations with him, and it really kind of broke my heart listening to the things he's said he had to go through to get to where he is.”
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