SLAPGATE: Denzel Washington may have comforted Will Smith, but these stars stood by Chris Rock

SLAPGATE: Denzel Washington may have comforted Will Smith, but these stars stood by Chris Rock
Chris Rock later posed for photos with supporters like Harrelson, Robert De Niro and Oseary (guyoseary/Instagram and Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

The 94th Academy Awards returned to Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 27, with the red carpet teeming with Hollywood's best and finest. This year, Will Smith won the award for Best Lead Actor for his performance in 'King Richard'. Smith's achievement, however, was overshadowed as viewers were left stunned after he slapped Chris Rock for cracking a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Film when he decided to poke fun at Jada's shaved head, which is a result of her suffering from an autoimmune disease. When Rock said she could star in "G.I. Jane", Smith walked onto the stage, slapped Rock in the face, and walked back to his seat. "Keep my wife's name out of your f-----g mouth," he yelled at Rock. Smith, however, later apologized for his shocking act. Jada's shaved head is reportedly a result of alopecia, an illness she is battling.


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Denzel Washington reportedly came over to Smith in the theater and offered some words of wisdom after he hit Chris Rock. As Smith revealed in his acceptance speech, “Denzel said to me a few moments ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you’.” Movie mogul Tyler Perry and actor Bradley Cooper also tried to calm Smith down during the commercial breaks. Nicole Kidman was seen giving him a hug.

However, in the aftermath of the violence, some stars stood firm by Chris Rock too. He was reportedly consoled by fellow comics Wanda Sykes and Sacha Baron Cohen at a party afterwards. Guests at music manager Guy Oseary’s house described how various A-listers approached Rock to offer him their support. Rock apparently appeared composed in the aftermath of the slapping incident. “Chris was very calm, there was a lot of love for him at that party," Page Six quoted a source as saying. “Wanda Sykes was his wingman for the night. He was sitting at Guy’s dining table, and people lined up to console him and offer support.”

Rock also reportedly hung out with Woody Harrelson and Sacha Baron Cohen, who “told him that what happened was completely wrong.” Rock posed for pictures with supporters like Harrelson, Robert De Niro and Oseary after the awkward incident, as other prominent supporters commented on the picture posted on Instagram, using the hashtag "#teamchrisrock". 

“There was some concern that Will Smith would show up at Guy’s party, and there was a discussion about what to do to keep them apart. Thankfully Will didn’t show up," a source said. "Will and Chris didn’t get to clear the air after the incident — Chris left the Oscars ceremony immediately and went to Guy Oseary’s house.”

Smith was later seen with his family, including kids Trey, 29, Jaden, 23, and Willow, 21, at the Vanity Fair party. He danced to his own hits like “Gettin Jiggy With It." Rock, meanwhile, went to the annual Oscars party hosted by multi-millionaire manager Guy Oseary. Making a joke about the slap, Rock allegedly said backstage that he “just got punched in the face by Muhammad Ali and didn’t get a scratch.” Smith later took to Instagram to issue an apology directly to Rock, which he did not do during his acceptance speech.

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