More than seven months after its release, Jada Pinkett Smith is finally sharing her reaction to Chris Rock's recent comedy special, which aired on Netflix after her husband, Will Smith, slapped him at the 2022 Oscars.
The actress and Red Table Talk host — whose new memoir, Worthy, hits shelves on Oct. 17 — says she was initially "hurt" after Rock mocked her and Smith in Selective Outrage.
"I remember my heart piercing, my heart cracking, and I remember my feelings being so hurt," she told The New York Times in a new interview.
She added, "And then I remember being able to smile and wish him well at the same time."
Kirill Bichutsky/Netflix;Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Chris Rock; Jada Pinkett Smith
During the recorded special, Rock took aim at the couple and made several jokes about the infamous moment when Smith hit him after Rock poked fun at Pinkett Smith's shaved head, the result of her alopecia, at the 2022 Academy Awards. The incident led Smith, who later apologized to Rock in a statement on Instagram, to be banned from all Oscar-related events for the next 10 years.
"People asked me if it hurt," Rock said about the slap in the special. "Yes, that s--- hurt! I got hit so hard, I heard 'Summertime' ringing in my ears."
While Rock maintained that he held no lingering resentment toward Pinkett Smith and her husband, he later claimed that she had previously tried to get him to step down from hosting the Oscars because Smith hadn't been nominated for his 2015 film Concussion.
"So I did some jokes about her. Who gives a f---?" he said. "That's how it is: She starts it, I finish it. That's what the f--- happened. Nobody's picking on this bitch. She started this s---. Nobody's picking on her. She said me, a f---ing grown-ass man, should quit his job because he wasn't nominated for Concussion and then this n---- gives me a f---ng concussion!"
"I thought, 'This is a skit,'" she told PEOPLE. "I was like, 'There's no way that Will hit him.' It wasn't until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn't a skit."
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