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Police say Chris Rock declined to file a report against Will Smith

The night’s best actor winner appeared to slap the comedian after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
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/ Source: NBC News

Police say comedian Chris Rock declined to file a report against Will Smith after the actor slapped him during the live broadcast of the annual Academy Awards ceremony.

That means the Los Angeles Police Department, which has basic jurisdiction where the show was produced Sunday, will not investigate or pursue possible charges against Smith.

“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the department said in a statement.

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“The incident involved one individual slapping another,” the LAPD continued. “The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”

Rock’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Senior sources at the department said officers usually wouldn’t take action in such a situation — a possible misdemeanor battery investigation — unless there was a desire to press charges and help fill out an incident report.

Image: Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Will Smith, right, appears to hit presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images

That would involve the self-described victim’s contacting police directly, the sources said.

Rock suggested that Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was to star in “G.I. Jane II,” an apparent reference to her shaved head, which is her response to the serious hair-loss condition alopecia. Smith marched a short distance to the stage and appeared to slap Rock with an open hand.

Rock did not appear to be physically injured, but he seemed to be shaken and twice said, “Wow.”

Will Smith, Chris Rock
Will Smith approaches actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022.Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

Back at his seat, Smith shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out your f---ing mouth,” and then repeated the sentiment.

The “smack,” as Rock referred to it, seemed to reverberate throughout the world, dominating news headlines.

Smith later won best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena, in “King Richard.” He apologized for the altercation, but not to Rock.

This article originally appeared on NBC News.