Who is Will Smith's mom? Carolyn Smith, 85, says son's assault on Chris Rock 'surprised' her
Will Smith's mother has spoken after her son's shocking attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars Sunday night, saying it was entirely out of character.
The 'I am Legend' star slapped the veteran comedian for cracking a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith at the 94th Academy Awards held at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 27. 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 allegedly 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 later apologized for his shocking act, although notably not to Rock. Jada's shaved head is reportedly a result of alopecia, an illness she is battling.
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Who is Will Smith's mom?
85-year-old Carolyn Smith lives in Philadelphia, where her Hollywood star son, now 53, grew up. Smith's father Willard, a raging alcoholic, divorced Carolyn in 2000 and reportedly died in 2016. Speaking to local news station Action News, Carolyn noted how she dressed up to watch the Los Angeles awards ceremony from her home but was taken aback by her son's conduct. "He is a very even, people person," she told the outlet on Monday, March 28. "That's the first time I've ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime. I've never seen him do that."
NEW: I spoke with Will Smith’s mother as her son is in the global spotlight after an unforgettable night at the @TheAcademy. Hear her joy and surprise about that historic night in her own words @6abc #WillSmith #Philly pic.twitter.com/E2rK6UIlSh— Sharrie Williams (@WilliamsSharrie) March 29, 2022
The worried mother said she spoke to her son amid the drama and told him to take a vacation and get some rest. She was confident he would ride out the controversy. "I am proud of him being him," she said, adding how she was hoping her son would win the best actor award. Smith won the same shortly after assaulting Rock, and his mother believes he deserved it for his performance in King Richard. "I know how he works, how hard he works," she told the station. "And he never half steps. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting. When I heard the name, I was just, 'Yes!'" She added, "I thought he should have been given one (Oscar) for all of them (his films)." Smith's younger sister Ellen, 50, also agreed that she was confident he would overcome the controversy. "I've had conversations with him, and it like really kind of broke my heart listening to the things he's said he had to go through to get to where he is," she told Action News.
It's worth noting that Smith has had previous run-ins with the law despite his clean-cut image. The former rapper was jailed for a night in 1989 over his involvement in an incident that almost left his record producer William Hendricks blind, Philadelphia police said. He was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and criminal conspiracy days after winning a Grammy Award, albeit the charges were later dropped.
That said, Smith is very close to his mother and often posts photos with her on Instagram. He wished his mother on her 85th birthday in January, sharing a video of them dancing. "85 Today! Happy Bday, Mom-Mom. Let's dance our way to 100," he wrote. On Mother's Day last year, he wrote, "Happy Mommy's Day, Mommy! And Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers of the world." He added, "Oh... and Mom, I'm sorry about that time when I was a senior in high school and you caught me in the kitchen with my girlfriend. But, really you should've been asleep."