Skip to main content

Chris Rock Has A New Hollywood Romance, Reportedly Isn't Letting Will Smith Slap Notoriety Get In His Way

Chris Rock has been the center of attention in Hollywood since getting slapped by Will Smith during the live broadcast of the 94th Academy Awards. While Rock may be too focused on his tour to concern himself with reconciling with the Best Actor winner, it appears the Saturday Night Live vet has made time for other personal relationships. Rock has apparently been dating actress Lake Bell for a couple of months.

More than three months after The Slap, everyone continues to weigh in on the manner in which Will Smith chose to defend wife Jada Pinkett Smith against Chris Rock’s joke. The Grown Ups actor, however, has for the most part declined to address it (except, possibly, backstage with Dave Chappelle and Marlon Wayans, that is). Rather, he’s kept the focus on himself, and that includes not letting the Oscars brouhaha stop him from pursuing a new relationship, an ET source said:  

[He] wasn’t going to let that impact how he lives his life, if he wants to do something or go somewhere with someone, he will.

The source said Chris Rock is in a “really good head space” and has been putting effort into making the new relationship with the Harley Quinn actress work. The couple have reportedly been seeing each other for a couple of months, and were seen out together multiple times over the Fourth of July weekend. On July 1, the they reportedly enjoyed dinner at celeb hotspot Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica, followed by casual Sunday brunch at Coast. Rock and Bell were also seen at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game back in June.

Lake Bell, whose projects have included TV series like Boston Legal and Bless This Mess as well as movies like It’s Complicated and No Strings Attached, ended her marriage to Scott Campbell after seven years in 2020. Chris Rock, for his part, split from his wife Malaak Compton-Rock in 2016 after 20 years.

It’s good to see that Chris Rock is not being held back by the events of March 27, which even “traumatized” some of his friends like Wanda Sykes. The Slap has remained a topic of conversation, largely because of the polarizing opinions Will Smith’s reaction generated — as well as the immediate aftermath, in which Smith was allowed to stay in the audience and accept the 2022 award for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. In the days following the ceremony, Smith was banned from all Academy-related events for 10 years, and he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Many people have spoken out against Will Smith’s actions, including Jim Carrey, who said he was “sickened” that the crowd honored Smith with a standing ovation for his award following the outburst. Others, however, have shown more empathy toward a man defending his wife against a tasteless joke. Mike Tyson, who has his own history of physical altercations, was “not shocked” by The Slap, and Terry Crews showed empathy when comparing Smith’s actions to unfortunate incidents in his own past.

Hopefully Lake Bell and Chris Rock can continue to keep the focus on themselves and their budding relationship, even as it’s unlikely that The Slap is going to fall out of the pop culture conversation anytime soon. Be sure to check out our 2022 movie release schedule to see what’s coming soon to theaters. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.