Jada Pinkett Smith breaks silence on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

Jada Pinkett Smith has finally broken her silence after her husband Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Academy Awards.

The shocking incident made headlines throughout the world, with Smith, 53, eventually expressing his regret in an emotional apology shared to the public on Monday (local time).

During the ceremony on Sunday night (local time), Rock, 57, jokingly likened Pinkett Smith and her shaved head to GI Jane, the titular character in the 1997 film, played by Demi Moore. 

It's understood the punchline hit a nerve with Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia, a hair loss condition.

As the audience laughed, Smith strode up to the stage, slapped Rock across the face and returned to his seat, before twice yelling: "Keep my wife's name out your f**king mouth." He appeared visibly upset, with a dumbfounded Rock replying: "Wow dude, it was a GI Jane joke... I'm going to, okay?"

Pinkett Smith, 50, stayed quiet after the incident unfolded at the prestigious ceremony, during which her husband was also awarded his first Oscar for his lead role as Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in the acclaimed biographical film King Richard. 

As the fallout from the assault continues, Pinkett Smith has now seemingly addressed the incident and its aftermath with a cryptic message shared to her Instagram on Tuesday.

"This is a season for healing and I'm here for it," the actress wrote, with the words set against a pink background. No caption accompanied the post. 

Later on Tuesday, the couple's daughter Willow, 21, shared her own thoughts on the scandal, writing on her Instagram Story: "You know who's going through a lot right now? Literally everyone. Just be kind."

It follows the apology issued by Smith on his social media platforms, in which he called his behaviour "unacceptable and inexcusable".

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," the actor wrote. 

"My behaviour at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

"I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."

Rock, 57, has yet to publicly respond to Smith's apology, or address Sunday's incident. He did however decline to press charges, according to local police.

Smith has also extended his apology to the family of Venus and Serena Williams, the subject of King Richard, as well as the Academy, which has condemned his actions and launched a formal review into the incident. A full board meeting to discuss the slap will be held on Wednesday (local time).

"I would also like to apologise to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world," Smith continued.

"I would like to apologise to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us."

The Philadelphia-born actor concluded: "I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will."

Speaking to local news station Action News on Monday, Will Smith's 85-year-old mother, Carolyn Smith, said her son's behaviour was totally out of character.

"He is a very even, people person," she said. "That's the first time I've ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime. I've never seen him do that."

Smith's punishment will likely be decided at Wednesday's meeting, which will be held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors.

If disciplinary action is taken, Smith's Oscar could be rescinded, or alternatively, he could be expelled from the Academy. This is considered the most severe penalty - disgraced directors Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski and comedian Bill Cosby have previously been blacklisted for sexual misconduct. 

According to Variety, it's unlikely Smith will be made to forfeit his award, but he may face some penalty or sanction.

The shocking incident was initially suspected to be staged, with the crowd of A-listers appearing to question the authenticity of the altercation immediately afterward. However, speculation was quickly put to bed when Smith addressed his behaviour in his acceptance speech for Best Actor shortly after the slap, during which he expressed his regret to the Academy, but did not extend his apology to Rock. 

"You gotta be able to take abuse, and you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you," Smith said through tears.

"In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that's okay. 

"Art imitates life... I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things."

The Smiths' almost 25-year marriage has been the butt of jokes during the awards season, with the couple recently making headlines for their admissions around their open and unconventional relationship.