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Family members and friends of Will Smith are trying to be there for the actor following his slap in the face of Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards.
As the ‘King Richard’ star has been making waves in Hollywood and beyond since the viral Oscars moment played out on live TV, he’s getting support from friends, according to a report.
Despite their “embarrassment” over the situation, friends of Smith have been “texting him privately and trying to be there for him,” a source told Entertainment Tonight.
The insider went on to say that Rock’s slap of Smith showed “there’s a lot of anger in Will.”
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“His incident at the Oscars is just one that came out,” the source continued.
The insider added that those close to him think he “needs to take a break from his acting career, get therapy and sort out his issues.”
Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after a disciplinary process began last week.
A second source said that amid the chaos, Smith was supported by his family, who are “working through it all”.
“They are a strong family unit and they support Will 100%,” the insider said.
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Over the weekend, Smith’s daughter, Willow, took to Twitter with a cryptic message.
“The meaning of life is found in a challenge,” the 21-year-old “Red Table Talk” co-host tweeted.
“Life is a series of reactions,” she wrote in a separate tweet.
In a statement Friday afternoon, the 53-year-old said he would “fully accept all consequences of my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards were shocking, painful and inexcusable.”
Film Academy president David Rubin said Smith’s resignation had been accepted.
“We will continue to advance our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violating the Academy’s standards of conduct, prior to our next board meeting scheduled for April 18,” he confirmed.
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The resignation came two days after the academy’s board of directors met to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith for breaching the group’s standards of conduct. These disciplinary proceedings could have resulted in suspension or expulsion had he not resigned. It was not immediately clear what additional sentence he might face.
Had he been expelled, Smith would have joined a small group of men retired from the academy: Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and actor Carmine Caridi, who was expelled for sharing award selectors.
On March 27, Smith emerged from his seat in the front row of the Dolby Theater onstage and punched Rock, 57, who had made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Moments later, he won Best Actor for his role in ‘King Richard’.
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Rock, who was about to present the Oscar for Best Documentary, declined to press charges at the request of the police. He only briefly spoke publicly about the attack, saying at a comedy gig in Boston last week that he was still “processing what happened”.
Smith stunned Rock, the theater crowd and viewers at home when he took the stage after Rock joked, “Jada, I love you. ‘GI Jane 2’, can’t wait to see it. “
Pinkett Smith, 50, who has spoken publicly about her hair loss condition, alopecia, had a clean-shaven head similar to that of Half Moore in the original movie.
After Smith’s attack, he returned to his seat and angrily yelled twice at Rock to “get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth”. When Smith took the stage less than an hour later to accept his Oscar, he tearfully apologized to the Academy, but notably omitted any mention of Rock.
The fallout was immediate and intense. Smith had supporters for standing up for his wife, but he was widely condemned for responding violently and for both spoiling his long-sought Oscar win and eclipsing the other winners of the night.
Stephanie Nolasco of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.