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Denzel Washington says the devil made Will Smith do it

Actor Denzel Washington spoke on Saturday for the first time about Will Smith punching comedian Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars last week, saying: “For some reason the devil got a hold of him that night. “

Smith took the stage on Oscar night and punched Rock after the comedian joked about his wife’s shaved head. Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia which causes hair thinning and baldness. “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” Smith then shouted – twice – from the audience.

Washington quickly approached Smith during a hastily arranged commercial break after the slap, and they prayed together, he told Pastor TD Jakes in an onstage interview at Jakes’ International Leadership Summit in Charlotte. A video of the interview was released on The Wrap.

Washington declined to reveal what else the men were talking about.

“I don’t want to say what we talked about, but there, but for the grace of God, go one of us,” the actor said. “Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of this situation, but I do know that the only solution was prayer.

He noted, “There’s a saying when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong,” Washington told Jakes. “The devil says, ‘Oh no, leave him alone, that’s my favorite. “”

But “on the other hand, when the devil attacks you, it may be because he [Smith] try to do something good. And for some reason the devil got a hold of him that night,” Washington noted.

Smith referenced Washington’s words shortly after when he accepted his Best Actor Oscar in “King Richard,” a film about Richard Williams and his tennis star daughters, Serena and Venus.

“Denzel told me a few minutes ago. ‘AT your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you,” Smith said.

While he apologized to the Academy – but not to Rock – as he accepted the award, Smith also appeared to defend his actions, saying that “love will make you do crazy things.” He also pointedly hailed Richard Williams as a “fierce defender from his family. »

Smith has since publicly apologized to Rock and announced on Friday that he would be resigning his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his “inexcusable” behavior.

Earlier this week, famed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar harshly criticized Smith’s evocation of the devil as an explanation for his violence when he accepted his award. Almodóvar, who watched from the audience, said it sounded like something from a “cult leader” or a “fundamentalist”.

“You don’t defend or protect the family with your fists, and no, the devil doesn’t take advantage of key moments to do his job,” Almodóvar wrote in Indiewire. “The devil, in fact, does not exist.”

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