(KTLA) — Before he cracked jokes about her appearance and got slapped at the 2022 Oscars, Chris Rock apparently wanted to date Jada Pinkett Smith, the actress claims.
Pinkett Smith says Rock had asked her out amid rumors she and Will Smith were divorcing.
She told PEOPLE this happened around the summer of 2016, about six years before Smith slapped him onstage at the 94th Academy Awards.
“I think every summer, all the reports would come out that me and Will were getting a divorce. And this particular summer, Chris, he thought that we were getting a divorce,” she explained. “So he called me and basically he was like, ‘I’d love to take you out.’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ He was like, ‘Well, aren’t you and Will getting a divorce?’ I was like, ‘No. Chris, those are just rumors.’ He was appalled. And he profusely apologized, and that was that.”
Pinkett Smith said she hasn’t spoken to Rock since that infamous slap on Oscar night, but told the outlet she hopes those involved can move on.
“[Do I have] any desire to talk to Chris? Here’s my desire. I just hope that all the misunderstanding around this can be cleared up and that there can be peace,” she told the outlet.
“I talk about this in the book. I think that there might be some misunderstanding between Chris and I as far as the 2016 Oscars,” she continued. “I think that he might’ve taken offense, which I meant no harm in offending. That wasn’t my intention. But I do think that there’s a big misunderstanding there.”
During the 2016 Oscars, the “Bad Moms” star posted to social media in support of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign and called for a boycott of the awards show after she felt the academy wasn’t recognizing the “artistic accomplishments” of people of color.
Rock was the host of the awards show at the time and said Pinkett Smith asked him to bow out in support.
Now, Pinkett Smith realizes she didn’t understand things from his perspective.
“I probably should have called him and gone, ‘Hey, are you okay? And just know that although I’m speaking out about the Oscars, I do wish you the best and I just want you to know that,’ me taking the time to have called him … just to touch base. But his feelings might’ve been hurt,” she said.
“All we can ever do is just look at our part and see where could I have done something that would’ve seemed as if, whatever misunderstanding might’ve been created, what could I have done to avoid that misunderstanding?” She said. “The one thing that I think about is that call.”
She said Rock called her in 2016 and thought they were now cool.
“He apologized and I apologized to him as well,” she revealed “So I actually thought that we were good, that the hatchet was buried between us. And we hadn’t talked since then until 2022 came.”
Following the slap, she said the comedian attempted to immediately apologize to her.
“Chris came down to the end of the stage and tried to apologize to me. He said, ‘I didn’t mean you any harm.’ I said, ‘I can’t talk about this now, Chris. This is some old s—.’ I thought this was (about) the Oscar 2016 and their stuff that they had before I even came into the picture in the late ‘80s. I’ve got to leave that to Will and Chris to talk about, but they got their stuff for sure.”
The slap came after Rock poked fun at Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. The “Girls Trip” star suffers from alopecia.
When the outlet asked her if she was offended by the jab, she said this:
“I mean, that’s what comedians do,” she reasoned. “I would just have to say that I am not really here to make any judgment on how people decide to express themselves and express their art. I’ll say that several times I’ve had my feelings hurt, for sure. I’ve had my feelings hurt a lot by Chris. But at the end of the day, too, being in the spotlight, it comes with the territory.”
Pinkett Smith’s memoir, “Worthy” is set to hit shelves on Oct. 17.
In a recent interview with the Today Show’s Hoda Kotb, Pinkett Smith revealed she and Smith have been separated since 2016.
In the interview that aired on Wednesday, Pinkett Smith explained that she thought about getting a divorce but never went through with it.
“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through whatever. And I just haven’t been able to break that promise,” she explained.
NBC is set to devote a full hour in prime time to all things about the actress on Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.