Carolyn Smith, Will Smith’s mother, was gathered with family at her home in the Philadelphia suburbs Sunday night, excited to watch her son at the Academy Awards.
And while she told CNN affiliate WPVI that she had immense pride that the actor won his first Oscar for his performance in “King Richard,” she said she was shocked by him slapping Chris Rock.
“He is a very even, people person,” she said. “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime.”
The star hit Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Ellen Smith, Will Smith’s sister, talked to the station about the pressure her brother is under as a celebrity.
“Everybody has been bullied or abused in some kind of way,” she said. “I totally understand.”
Carolyn Smith said her son’s win on Sunday was culmination of years of hope and hard work by the actor.
“I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting,” she said. “When I heard the name, I was just, ‘Yes!’”