Will Smith 'Happy To' Continue Therapy After Feeling 'Deeply Triggered' By Chris Rock's Comment As 'King Richard' Star Struggles To Save His Reputation: Source
A friend close to Will Smith is claiming the King Richard star was "deeply triggered" by Chris Rock's comment as a result of childhood trauma leading to the slap seen around the world at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Smith is reportedly considering returning to therapy to resolve issues connected to his abusive father as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his reputation and career.
Mark Manson — who helped Smith pen his 2021 memoir, Will — told The Sun that the Wild Wild West actor is "horrified" and "filled with a deep sense of shame" over how he acted on Sunday night.
"He is happy to have some more therapy for his unresolved childhood issues and will do what he can to make good on his momentary lapse in judgment," the author explained to the outlet after Smith slapped Rock over a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head, which is the result of her alopecia diagnosis, which causes hair loss.
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"Essentially, though, Will was deeply triggered by Chris’s demeaning comments about his wife’s alopecia," Manson continued. "He was taken straight back to childhood, seeing his mum getting abused by his dad."
"This time he didn’t take it sitting down — and retaliated as, unfortunately, 50 million people across the globe all saw," he reportedly added.
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As OK! previously reported, Smith immediately apologized to the Academy and the other actors in attendance during his Oscars acceptance speech for Best Actor on Sunday, March 27, but failed to mention Rock.
"I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people," he emotionally told the audience. "Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams."
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The Men in Black actor later took to Instagram on Monday, March 28, to apologize to the comedian by name.
"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," the post began. "My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally."
"I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris," he continued. "I was out of line."