​​Will Smith Didn't 'Consider the Ramifications' of Chris Rock Smack: 'An Out-of-Body Moment' (Source)

"Jada [Pinkett Smith] was the only thing he was concerned about," a source tells PEOPLE of Will Smith's altercation with Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards

Will Smith wasn't thinking about the consequences when he smacked Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday, a source close to Smith's family tells PEOPLE.

At the 2022 Oscars, Smith, 53, walked onto the stage and hit Rock, 57, following a joke made by the presenter about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. The actress, 50, has previously opened up about her years-long struggle with alopecia.

"It was very impulsive, and in the moment he was protecting his family," the source says. "Jada was the only thing he was concerned about. He didn't even consider the ramifications or how shocking he would look. He just thought about protecting and went into that mode of protector and provider."

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"The people who are closest to him know that wasn't the answer, and you can't resort to violence. It was an out-of-body moment for him," the source continues, adding that the people around the Best Actor winner are "showing him a lot of support" following the incident.

will smith
Neilson Barnard/Getty

Smith, who apologized to the Academy as well as his fellow nominees in his Oscars acceptance speech, issued a statement Monday night, in which he formally apologized to Rock for the first time.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior 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," Smith began.

chris rock and will smith
Chris Rock; Will Smith. Getty (2)

"I would like to publicly apologize 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," he continued. "There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."

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"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family," the actor wrote. "I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress."

The altercation between the two stars occurred after Rock, who was introducing the award for Best Documentary, joked to Smith's wife in the audience, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see ya."

Smith then walked onto the stage and smacked Rock in the face. "Oh wow," said a seemingly taken-aback Rock as Smith made his way back to the audience. "Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me."

"Keep my wife's name out your f—ing mouth!" Smith yelled up to the stage at Rock after taking his seat.

In a statement shared Monday afternoon, the Academy denounced Smith's "actions," adding in part: "We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."

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