Insiders Reveal What You Didn’t See That Night After Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock

Insiders reveal what you didn’t see after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.

But no one at the Dolby Theatre thought Will Smith actually meant to hit Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife at the Oscars, until Rock said out loud, “Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me.”

Though ABC chiefs cut the sound when Smith ran on stage, the audience could clearly hear Smith sho’uting after he returned to his seat, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!”

“We thought it was a bit,” said one Hollywood insider. “Then we heard Will yelling. You heard it so loudly in the theater.”

Another Hollywood insider told how she watched the chaos from the green room. “Suddenly everyone froze and the whole place was, like, what the f—k happened?”

The insider told how Smith’s longtime publicist Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, Oscars producer Will Packer and Academy president David Rubin then walked into a private room “very quickly…with great seriousness.”

Will Smith’s slap left Oscar producers and other actors scrambling to find out what was going on with the star. Chris Rock met with police but ref’used to press charges.

The joke wasn’t reportedly on the teleprompter or practiced in rehearsals but, among Rock’s people, “no one thought there were any issues with the jokes.”

There was a sense that something was wrong with Will,” said the insider. “I heard Chris’ manager, Jason Weinberg say, ‘I’ve got to deal with the LAPD now. I have to find out what is going on,’ then he walked out.

“Everybody was saying, ‘Holy s—t.’ Even the bartenders. The gravitas was not lost on anyone. There were people saying, ‘Oh, my god, poor Chris.’ People were wondering if Chris’s face was red because he was flush or because he was hit.”

Pictures right after the slap show Rock on stage talking to a seated Smith as though trying to make peace, but a source who knows the comedian said he wasn’t attempting an apology. Rather, he was saying, “Whoa, whoa, OK, I hear you. I’m just here to give out the Oscar,” the source said.

“How does that read as an apology?” the source added. “He was the one who was a’ss’aul’t’ed live. The fact that the guy continued be so cool after this a’ss’ault, he deserves an Oscar.”

Rock was “shaken” as he walked off stage to meet with producers and members of the LAPD, the source continued.

“When he got off stage, he was a bit shaken. He was taken into a side room and talked to producers and LAPD. Then he went to the writers’ room and spoke to his guys and left. I mean, these are guys he has worked with for years. No one thought there were any issues with the jokes.

“If anything, Regina Hall’s joke about Will and Jada earlier in the evening (which hinted at their open marriage) was in way worse taste,” the source said, while adding that Rock did not have a mark on his face from the slap.

During this awards season, Smith, 53, and his 50-year-old wife have repeatedly been the butt of jokes about their marital status, and some have speculated that Rock’s barb — “Jada, ‘GI Jane 2,’ I can’t wait to see it,” referring to her bald head — might have been the last straw.

The Wall Street Journal says that Rock’s joke wasn’t on the teleprompter nor was it practiced in rehearsal. Meanwhile, Rock that Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, which causes hair loss.

After the slap, LAPD officers asked Rock if he wanted to press charges against Smith. “Chris said no and left soon after. He was stunned and shook,” said the source.

Back in the theater, it was Smith’s great mentor — and now fellow Oscar winner Denzel Washington — who came over to his table first to offer words of wisdom. As Smith later revealed in his acceptance speech for Best Actor later that evening: “Denzel said to me a few moments ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you’.”

During the commercial breaks, movie mogul Tyler Perry and actor Bradley Cooper also tried to calm Smith down. Fellow nominee Nicole Kidman was seen giving Smith a hug.

“He was wiping his eyes of tears, he knew it was not good,” said Hollywood Reporter awards columnist Scott Feinberg on his podcast, “The Town,” about Smith in the aftermath.

Meanwhile, it was clear that Smith would not be leaving the ceremony. “Everybody started to realize ‘Oh my God, he’s going to get back up there,’ they did not escort him out,” said Matt Belloni, the former editor of the Hollywood Reporter on the podcast.

Music magnate Diddy attempted to smooth things over on stage as he appeared to introduce a 50th anniversary tribute of “The Godfather.”

“OK, Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family at the Gold Party, OK?” referring to the Oscars afterparty hosted by Jay-Z and Beyoncé. “But right now we are moving on with love. Everybody make some noise!”

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