Rock has made subtle nods to the slap on comedy shows in the months since, but he hasn’t spoken about it publicly at length. He took the same approach during his performance on Friday.
“Everybody’s trying to be a fucking victim. If everybody pretends to be a victim, then nobody’s gonna hear from the real victims,” Rock said. “Even though I got slammed by Suge Smith…I went to work the next day, I have kids.”
He later joked, “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
Smith charged the stage and punched out Rock after making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle, who suffers from alopecia.
In the video posted to his social media accounts, a solemn Smith begins with an on-screen message: “Over the past few months I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and homework. … You’ve asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to respond,” it read.
Smith sighs and then shares his thoughts on an altercation that made headlines around the world and tarnished his image.
He explains why he didn’t apologize to Rock during his Best Actor Oscar acceptance speech in ‘King Richard.’
“I was steamed up at that time,” he says. “Everything is blurry.”
Smith says he tried to contact Rock, but he indicated he wasn’t ready to talk and would contact him when he was.
“So I’ll tell you Chris, I’m sorry. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
“We had a great relationship,” Smith said. “Tony Rock was my man and it’s probably beyond repair.”.
Smith also apologizes to his wife, their children and fellow Oscar nominees.
“Disappointing people is my main trauma,” he says. “I hate when I let people down, so it hurts.”
Smith addresses a message to his followers, saying he is committed “to bringing light, love and joy into the world.”
“If you hang on, I promise you we can be friends again,” he concludes.