Back in March, Will confronted Chris live on stage at the Academy Awards after the comic made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut.
After slapping Chris and returning to his seat, Will urged him to “keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth”.
Prior to the event, Jada had spoken candidly about her experiences with hair loss due to alopecia, saying this is what prompted her to shave her head.
The incident led to Will being banned from the Oscars for a decade, with the King Richard actor having since taken time out from the spotlight.
In an emotional five-minute video posted online on Friday afternoon, Will explained: “It’s been a minute. Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work. You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some to answer.”
Explaining why he did not apologise to Chris during his Best Actor acceptance speech, which occurred minutes after his on-stage altercation, Will claimed: “I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy.”
“I have reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk and when he is he will reach out,” he explained.
“So I will say to you, Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk.”
Will continued: “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened in that moment. And I’m not going to try and unpack all of that right now.
“But I can say to all of you that there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There is no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle feelings of disrespect or insults.”
Will also insisted Jada did not “tell him to do something” after Chris’ initial joke.
“I made a choice on my own from my own experiences, from my history with Chris, Jada had nothing to do with it,” he said. “I’m sorry, babe. I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.”
In the months since the Oscars, Chris has touched on the incident on a number of occasions during stand-up shows, including during a routine earlier this week.
Watch Will Smith’s video in full below: