Will Smith Explains Why He Slapped Male Reporter


Will Smith may have shocked his fans when he slapped a male reporter who kissed him on the cheek at the Russian premiere of "Men in Black 3" last week, but he's not apologizing. During his Tuesday appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman" to promote his new movie, the actor seemed to take great pride in his actions. "We're doing an interview, right? And he says, 'I'm your biggest fan. Can I have a hug?'" Smith explained. "So I go to give this joker a hug and he, like, tries to lean in to kiss me. It's just awkward, Dave!" After the backhanded slap, the reporter's people tried to explain his actions to Smith. "They were like, 'Oh no, we're sorry. It's just his schtick,'" he told Letterman. "And I said, 'That's why his ass got schtuck.'"

The odd encounter went down last Friday at the Moscow premiere of the third installment in the "Men in Black" franchise. In video shot from the red carpet, the male reporter is seen giving Smith, 43, a hug after their interview. The man then kissed the actor on both of his cheeks, which Smith seemed to be OK with at first, but then he just snapped. He suddenly turned on the reporter, shoved him into the cameraman standing behind him, slapped him in the face, and yelled, "Come on man, what the hell is your problem?" as his handlers ushered him down the red carpet. The Ukrainian reporter, known for kissing his subjects after concluding an interview, looked shocked and confused as he stepped back off the press line. Smith then tried to justify his actions, telling those around him, "He tried to kiss me on my mouth!" The "Ali" actor, a supporter of gay marriage, then told the next red carpet reporter, "He's lucky I didn't sucker punch him … Sorry, I said that on camera."

Three days after the incident, Smith stepped out with his wife of 15 years, Jada Pinkett, to watch the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Boston Celtics in his hometown, amid rumors the two are heading towards a split.

Smith on Letterman:

And the slap:

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