Isaiah Lee says Will Smith slapping Chris Rock 'inspired' him to and hit Dave Chappelle
Isaiah Lee, the man who attacked Dave Chappelle on stage at a Los Angeles comedy show 'Netflix Is a Joke Festival' earlier this month, said he was inspired by an event that took place during the Oscars this year. During a second jailhouse interview with The New York Post on Monday, May 23, at the Twin Towers Correctional facility in Downtown Los Angeles, Lee, 23 admitted that he was inspired by Will Smith. He said that he applauded Smith for smacking Oscar host Chris Rock across the face on live TV after the comic made a “tasteless” joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.
Lee believes Smith was “standing up for his wife” during the infamous smack heard ’round the world', which inspired him to storm the stage and tackle Chappelle after he made jokes about LGBTQ people and homelessness which ultimately triggered him. Lee told The New York Post that Chappelle should be more “sensitive” when it comes to the jokes he cracks. Lee also said, "I identify as bisexual and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering. I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect." He said his goal was to stand up for what he believed in – inspired by Smith.
However, on Monday, May 23, Lee also admitted that the attack was also partially driven by a pursuit to raise his popularity because he is a budding rapper who goes by the stage name “NoName_Trapper” and he also put out a song about the Emmy-winning comic Chappelle. “I’m not going to lie… it was a bit of clout-chasing,” Lee said of his decision to jump on stage. “In Hollywood, you know they say there is no such thing as bad publicity. I rap about these things in my music and knew it would get attention.” Lee said.
Lee's attack on Chappelle has already got him great publicity and attention and apparently, he has also been receiving some celebrity status behind bars from fellow inmates. “They come up to me and ask, ‘Hey, are you the guy who went up to Dave Chappelle?’’ Lee said. “I feel safer here right now than being outside because I’m going to need to find and hire security.”
On Monday, May 23, Lee also claimed that he does suffer from bipolar depression disorder but was on his medications at the time of the attack. Whereas, in the interview he clearly denied any mental health issues. “There are plenty of famous people who have bipolar disorder – Kanye West, Demi Lovato, Eminem – and they are able to speak about it,” Lee said. “Just because you are bipolar, it doesn’t stop you from… reaching success.”
Lee further claimed that during the night of the attack there were two other superstars, Busta Rhymes and Jamie Foxx who held him and kicked him until he was left gasping for air. “They were stomping on me all over and on my ribs and said, ‘Are you stupid, kid? Why the hell did you do that?’ ” Lee recalled. As per Lee's statements, Foxx was one of the first people to jump on stage to help the comedian. However, Chappelle, claims none of his friends laid hands on Lee, and brushed it off as a joke when he said “I watched him get kicked around, and I couldn’t believe it was my friends ’cause it’s so good what they do."
“I felt good my friends broke his arm. I felt good, how bad does a n***a have to be that Jon Stewart would stomp him! […] I’m very proud of them. Killing that n***a would have been stupid. Those are very powerful friends and I’m sharing [tonight] with people I love very much," he added. Later, the comedian's spokesperson, Carla Sims, clarified that Chappelle's comments were simply part of his ever-evolving act.