Will Smith has revealed boxer Floyd Mayweather called him up every day for 10 days straight to check in after actor slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
Men In Black actor Will, 54 – who faced career downfall when he hit Chris, 57, in March after the star made an ill-advised joke about his wife Jada – praised ‘forever dude’ Floyd, 45, for his kindness.
In video obtained by TMZ, the star, speaking at a recent event in London to promote new film Emancipation, said: ‘I want to say something also about Floyd. So, we’ve met each other, we’ve seen each other around, but we weren’t like, friends.
‘And, the day after the Oscars, for 10 days he called me every day. ‘And, he was like, “ay, you know you the champ, right? You good? You know you the champ, right? I want you to hear my voice say it.”‘
‘That was every day he called me… and it’s like, that’s my dude forever right there.’
Independence Day star Smith’s on-stage slap sent shockwaves around the world, with the star later saying he was left incensed by a joke Rock made about his wife’s lack of hair, which she shaved off to cover up hair loss she had experienced.
Despite sweeping the Oscars up in controversy, Smith still won the award for Best Actor for starring as the father of Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard.
Smith’s latest film is a historical thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua, in which the Fresh Prince actor stars as an enslaved man named Peter who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and braves treacherous territory and slave hunters to make it up north to Union territory, where he is able to join the fight against the Confederacy.
The film was inspired by the life of a former slave immortalized in horrifying photos of his back, which was covered in spiderwebbing keloid scars from repeated whippings.
Following the shocking slap, Variety originally reported that Apple planned to delay the film until 2023 to let the controversy die down.
However, it is now set for a December 2 release in theaters, followed by a streaming release on Apple TV+ on December 9.
The streaming service may have still given up its plans of having a hit for awards season, as the film may lose out on potential profits due to the short theatrical window.