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Will Smith's Self-Imposed Exile Seems Over As He And Jada Pinkett Smith Go Out Publicly For First Time Since March

Will Smith toasting Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys For Life.
(Image credit: Sony)

It’s been months since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars and, since then, the I Am Legend star has been keeping a relatively low profile. Though Smith did break his silence on the slap just a few weeks ago and apologized to Rock for the situation. (The star also addressed his “irreparable” relationship with Rock’s brother, Tony.) Though he’s mostly been out of the public eye, it now looks like Smith is out of his self-imposed exile. At least, that’s what one might gather since he and wife Jada Pinkett Smith were spotted out in public for the first time since March.

Paparazzi captured photos of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith this past weekend, as the celebrity couple enjoyed an afternoon visit to Nobu Malibu. Based on the snapshots that were shared with People, the two stars (dressed in relatively casual attire) appeared to be feeling good as they took in their surroundings. Will seemed especially calm and was photographed throwing up a peace sign to a nearby fan. Smith’s viral apology video suggested that he’s moving into a calmer state of mind, and these photos seem to indicate just that. 

Though this is the first time the King Richard star has been spotted in public with his wife, he had reportedly been making some moves soon after the Academy Awards debacle. It was said that the actor had embarked on a “spiritual journey” of sorts, which took him to India. The star had apparently sought to attend a meditation retreat there in order to get away from the drama surrounding his actions at the award show. 

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on live TV after the comedian, who was presenting the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock declined to press charges against Smith, who gave a tearful Oscars acceptance speech later that night. In the week that followed, Smith formally resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the organization formally banned him for a decade shortly after. 

Jada Pinkett Smith has been a bit more vocal when it comes to the slap. During an episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith called for a reconciliation between her husband and the veteran comedian. While her hubby said during his apology video that he’s ready to talk whenever, the Saturday Night Live alum doesn’t seem too eager just yet. 

As it stands, Chris Rock allegedly has no plans to reach out to Will Smith, with a source claiming that the apology was done in the hopes of repairing the Oscar winner’s relationship with the public. All the while, the Everybody Hates Chris creator is still on the comedy grind, having even headlined Madison Square Garden with Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle as of late. While he hasn’t formally addressed what went down between him and Smith, Rock did seem to respond to the apology during a stand-up routine.

All in all, it doesn’t appear that Will Smith will have an opportunity to truly mend fences anytime soon. But of course, things could change, as Smith slowly but surely re-enters the public eye.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.