Will Smith makes first late-night talk show appearance since Oscars slap

Will Smith has recalled the “horrific night” of his now infamous Oscars slap as he made his first late-night US talk show appearance since the incident.

The Hollywood star said the incident in March had “many nuances and complexities to it” but admitted that “I just lost it”.

He appeared on Monday’s episode of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to promote his upcoming film, Emancipation, where he seemed relaxed and in a good mood.

Smith stormed the stage during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony and slapped Chris Rock after comments the comedian made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

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Moments later he returned to the stage after winning the best actor Oscar for his role in the biopic King Richard, about the father of Venus and Serena Williams.

He later apologised to Rock and the Academy for the incident, but was banned from attending any Academy events or progammes for 10 years.

Smith told Noah that he was “going through something that night” but admitted that his “bottled up” rage did not justify his behaviour.

“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine,” he said.

“There’s many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just –  I lost it, you know.

The 94th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Moments after slapping comedian Chris Rock, Smith won the best actor Oscar (Doug Peters/AP)

“I guess what I would say is that you just never know what somebody’s going through.

“I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behaviour at all.”

He continued: “I understand how shocking that was for people… I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”

Emancipation marks Smith’s return to the big-screen since the incident and is directed by Antoine Fuqwa.

The actor said the idea that the production would be “tainted” by his actions and not gain the recognition it deserved at the upcoming awards season was “killing me dead”.