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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tom Murray

Jada Pinkett Smith nearly skipped Oscars because Chris Rock was presenting

Getty Images

Jada Pinkett Smith almost avoided the altercation between her husband Will and Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, her memoir reveals.

Last year’s Academy Awards show was famously thrown into chaos when Will, 55, walked on stage and struck presenter Rock, 58, across the face for a joke he made about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, which is due to alopecia.

In the penultimate chapter of her new memoir, Worthy, Pinket Smith, 52, writes that she was unsure whether to attend the Hollywood ceremony because Rock had made jokes about her in the past.

“He had been known to take swipes at me – and from the Oscar stage, no less,” she writes.

In 2016, Will and Pinkett Smith boycotted the Oscars due to its lack of diversity in the nominations list, which led to the creation of the social media hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

That year, Pinkett Smith released a video calling for people of colour to boycott the ceremony; though, she admits in her memoir that she didn’t consider “how Chris, as a Black male host that year, would be affected or the pressure he would be under”.

She continues: “Nor did I imagine that he would take offence to a question I posed in a video I made – as whether we should continue to support the Oscars that weren’t consistently celebrating talent of colour.”

Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith
— (Getty Images )

Addressing her boycott during the ceremony, Rock joked: “Jada [Pinkett Smith] boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”

She writes that she “immediately felt a trainwreck coming” when Rock took to the stage at the 2022 Academy Awards.

“I told myself, ‘A lot of time has passed, it’s the Academy Awards, there are no new misunderstandings, and I’m sure he’ll play nice,’” Pinkett Smith writes. “But another thought was ‘he’s not going to be able to help himself.’”

In an interview to promote Worthy, Pinkett Smith revealed she was shocked that Will referred to her as his “wife” after slapping Rock given that they have been “separated for seven years”.

“Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,” Will yelled at Rock while walking back to his seat next to Pinkett Smith. He then went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the sports drama King Richard.

The couple got married in 1997 and share 25-year-old Jaden and 22-year-old Willow.

“We’re still figuring it out,” Pinkett Smith told People of the state of their marriage. “We just got deep love for each other and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us.”

Worthy is out now.

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