The multi-awarded actor shared his thought about the incident during his appearance with the pastor and author T.D. Jakes in line with the International Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.
According to The Wrap, the 67-year-old actor said, “There’s a saying when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong. The devil goes, ‘Oh no leave him alone, he’s my favorite.’ Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because he’s trying to do something right. And for whatever reason, the devil got ahold of him that night.”
During the show, Chris cracked a G.I. Jane joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who’s suffering from alopecia. The Men in Black actor went to the stage and slapped the comedian. He returned to his seat where he shouted at him twice, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”
Moments later, during a commercial break, Denzel said that he and Tyler Perry comforted Will and the three of them prayed together.
Denel recalled, “Fortunately there were people there, not just me but others. I don’t wanna say what we talked about. But there but for the grace of God go any of us. Who are we to condemn?”
He continued, “I don’t know all the ins and outs of this situation, but I know the only solution was prayer. The way I saw it. The way I see it.”
Bradley Cooper was also photographed having a conversation with Will Smith immediately after the incident while T.J. told Denzel he had “stepped in the middle of World War III” by getting involved but he explained, “I couldn’t have sat in my seat. No way I could have sat in my seat. That’s just not who I am.”
Will won the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard. He apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees and shared what Denzel told him, “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”
Days after the Oscars, Will issued an apology to Chris and offered his resignation to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.
In his apology on April 1, he stated, “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”
Chris Rock also broke silence after the incident.