The “Madia” mogul said he was not comforting the “King Richard” star, even though photos with Denzel Washington might suggest otherwise.
“When we got to him, he was devastated,” Perry said of Smith at the Tribeca Film Festival, per People. “He couldn’t believe what happened. He couldn’t believe he did it. I see this man in his eyes saying, ‘What are you doing? It’s your night.'”
In a Directors Series interview, CBS’ Gayle King asked Perry if he was comforting Smith. Perry said he was “descaling” by making it clear to Smith that what he did was “wrong”.
According to People, he said, “There’s a difference between relaxing and reducing, that’s No. 1.” “And I left early to go to Chris to make sure he was okay. It’s been very difficult to be friends with the two of them.”
Perry believed the outburst stemmed from unresolved issues Smith was unable to protect her mother as a child, which she wrote about in a book.
“I know that feeling of being a man and thinking about a little boy,” Perry told Variety. “And if that trauma isn’t dealt with right away, as you get older, it will show up at the most inappropriate, most terrifying times. I know Will. I know him well.”
The slap heard around the world is still resonating today. The Rock, whose “GI Jane” is about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, inspired Smith’s onstage attack, joking about the incident during stand-up gigs but has yet to go deeper.
Smith apologized and faced a 10-year suspension from the Oscars.
And Pinkett Smith recently asked the two men to reconcile in a statement claiming no guilt on the part of her husband. Vivica A Fox also called out Pinkett Smith for her lack of accountability.