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‘It’s time to forgive Will Smith’ – Richard Williams defends actor over Oscars slap

The father of Venus and Serena Williams has defended actor Will Smith over his slapping of comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars – marking almost one year since the incident.

Smith, 54, played Richard Williams in the biopic film King Richard, which won him best actor at the 94th Academy Awards last year.

Last year’s ceremony also saw Smith get up on stage and smack Rock in the face following comments the comedian made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Smith apologised to Rock after the incident but he was given a 10-year ban from attending any academy events or programmes.

Mr Williams, 81, who has recently recovered from a series of health conditions, shared his support for Smith, saying that he “didn’t feel sorry” for Rock.

“I think he has done the best thing he needed to do, but I would never be disgusted with Mr Smith. Matter of fact, I appreciate Mr Smith,” he told Good Morning Britain.

When asked if he saw any wrongdoing in what happened at the Oscars, Williams said: “I don’t see nothing wrong with that.”

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He added: “It’s time for everyone to forgive Will Smith.”

The interview comes a day after Rock made comments about the slap during his Netflix special Chris Rock: Selective Outrage.

He said: “You all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith. Everybody knows. Yes it happened, I got smacked like a year ago.”

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“People were like, ‘did it hurt?’ It still hurts. I got Summertime ringing in my ears. But I’m not a victim baby, you’ll never see me on Oprah crying. You will never see it. Never going to happen.

“I took that hit like (former boxer Manny) Pacquiao.”

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