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Shaquille O’Neal offers Will Smith advice after Chris Rock slap

The NBA Hall of Famer was involved in a similar incident in 2002 with the Chicago Bulls’ Brad Miller and expressed his opinion over the Oscars dust-up

El consejo de Shaquille O’Neal a Will Smith: “No permitas que tu esposa hable en tu nombre”
Arturo HolmesGetty Images

The slap that Will Smith delivered to Chris Rock at the Oscars on 27 March sent shockwaves around the world. Before being awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard, Smith reacted to a joke made by comedian and host Rock about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia. Smith, who initially seemed to smile after Rock’s jibe, walked to the stage and delivered a solid blow that set the comedian back on his heels. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was swift to condemn Smith’s actions and the actor subsequently resigned his membership.

O’Neal: “Never let your wife or anybody else speak on your behalf”

Many stars of stage and screen and other public professions have voiced their opinion on Smith’s reaction, with NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal the latest to hold forth. “Never let your wife or anybody else speak on your behalf,” O’Neal said via his podcast, referring to Smith and his wife, who was also very critical of her husband’s response in the aftermath of the Oscars.

In 2002, while playing for the LA Lakers, O’Neal was involved in a similar incident during an NBA game, picking up a three-game suspension for swinging a punch at the Chicago Bulls’ Brad Miller. Talking about that incident, O’Neal said: “I’m never going to say that I was wrong to throw a punch at Brad Miller, you’ll never hear me say that. It happened and we moved on, which is the way it should be.”

What next? Will Smith resurfaces nine thousand miles from Hollywood

Jada Pinkett Smith reproaches Will Smith’s slap

Despite Smith landing one on Rock for a joke about his wife’s condition, Jada Pinkett Smith was none too impressed by her husband’s show of chivalry. According to sources close to Jada: “It was a heat of the moment thing and it was Will who blew it out of proportion. He knows it and she knows it. They both agree he overreacted. She isn’t one of those women who needs protection. He shouldn’t have done what he did, she didn’t need him to stand up for her. She’s no wallflower. She’s a strong woman, she’s a strong, stubborn woman and she can fight her own battles.”


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