“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement obtained by our sister site Deadline. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
Rock still has up to six months to file a report. Should Smith be charged at any point with simple assault, which is classified as a misdemeanor in the state of California, he would potentially face up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
The heated moment between Rock and Smith occurred about two-and-a-half hours into ABC’s Oscar broadcast on Sunday night. While presenting Best Documentary Feature, Rock quipped, “Jada, I love ya. GI Jane 2 — can’t wait to see it,” directing his comments at Jada Pinkett Smith, who is bald and who has previously spoken publicly about her hair loss condition, alopecia.
Though Smith appeared to laugh at the joke at first, Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes and appeared displeased. Soon after, Smith walked up to the stage and took a swing at Rock. “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me,” Rock said. Then Smith, who had returned to his seat, yelled from the audience, “Keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth” and repeated it after Rock protested that the dig had just been a joke.
In a statement of its own on Sunday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Smith himself went on to become one of those winners, after clinching the Best Actor award later in Sunday’s ceremony for his work in King Richard. In a tearful acceptance speech, Smith said, “Denzel [Washington] said to me, ‘At your highest moment, be careful — that’s when the devil comes for you.’ … I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to my fellow nominees.”