Sean 'Diddy' Combs Tried to 'Heal the Moment' at Oscars After Will Smith Hit Chris Rock: Source

“Diddy tried to calm the situation down, and felt he needed to say something and bring the mood up and everyone was so thrown by it,” a source tells PEOPLE

Sean Combs
Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty

Sean "Diddy" Combs tried to do what he could in the moments after Will Smith's shocking on-stage altercation with Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday, a friend of the music mogul tells PEOPLE.

After Smith, 53, struck Rock, 57, across the face in response to the comedian's joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Diddy, 52, took the stage to honor Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather trilogy.

However, given the unforeseen events that happened before Diddy introduced Coppola, Al Pacino, and Robert DeNiro, the Grammy Award winner had to change up his speech last minute.

"Diddy was about to go on stage and he was memorizing the names of the [Oscars] producers [Will Packer and Shayla Cowan], as he wanted to acknowledge them," Diddy's friend tells PEOPLE. "Then everything changed in an instant."

"He had to try and lighten the room with his words. [What he said] was unrehearsed."

will smith
Neilson Barnard/Getty

The source says Diddy wanted to "bring the two men together" and "remind everyone why we were all there –– to celebrate film."

"He was presenting such a big moment –– The Godfather –– it was a watershed moment. Diddy tried to calm the situation down and felt he needed to say something to bring the mood up and everyone was so thrown by it," the source continues.

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"He was trying to bring love to the world, say something to heal the moment, bring everyone back why we were there and celebrate the awards."

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

"I did not know that this was going to be the most exciting Oscars ever," Diddy said after Smith and Rock's clash. "Okay, Will and Chris – we're going to solve that like family at [Beyoncé and JAY-Z's] Gold party. But right now we're moving on with love."

PEOPLE confirms neither man ended up attending the star-studded bash at the Chateau Marmont.

After things settled down, the source tells PEOPLE, "He went up to them both privately to have a few words. I think Chris was in shock, Diddy tried to give him encouraging words and then he went over to Will at his seat."

RELATED VIDEO: How Will Smith Smacking Chris Rock at the Oscars — and the Aftermath — Unfolded

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."

The Girls Trip star lives with alopecia, which causes bald spots and hair loss.

Updated by Liz McNeil
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