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Will Smith's Mugshot From Brutal 1989 Assault Resurfaces Following Oscars Slap

Will smith pictured in mugshot from 1989

One particular awful moment from Will Smith’s past has resurfaced on the heels of his slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

That moment would be the time the future Oscar winner was arrested over an alleged brutal assault that took place in Philadelphia in 1989, when he was 20 years old.

According to the National Enquirer, Will was involved in an altercation that resulted in a man almost going blind in one eye. The assault reportedly went down shortly after the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star received his first rap Grammy, alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff.

A police report stated that Smith asked his bodyguard, Charles Alston, to “attack” record promoter, William Hendricks, who needed six stitches after he fractured his left eye orbit during the attack. The charges against the future superstar included aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person; however, they were later dismissed.

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Definitely doesn’t sound like a very relevant situation. Not only was it over three decades ago, the alleged violence wasn’t even committed by Will himself. But it might give you an idea how the actor is feeling in the wake of this latest incident.

A source told the mag about the 1989 fallout:

“Will had to spend a night in the cell at the West Philadelphia police station with other inmates waking him up all night long and asking for his autograph. It was the worst night of his life. He wants to forget it ever happened.”

He also likely wants to forget about The Slap, too, but that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.

As you definitely know, Will stormed the stage and “slapped the s**t out of” Rock after the comedian made a bad joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair during Sunday’s televised ceremony. The actor claimed he was simply defending his wife from Rock’s “abuse” when he accepted his Best Actor award for King Richard, telling the crowd:

“I know, to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse. You gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you. And you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that’s okay… Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, but love will make you do crazy things.”

In the wake of the event, Richard Williams — the man Smith portrayed on screen in his award-winning role — condemned his actions, telling NBC News through his son, Chavoita LeSane:

“We don’t know all the details of what happened. But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defense.”

And although some on social media are actually applauding Will for defending his wife, the Academy isn’t letting him off the hook. The Academy’s Board of Governors held an emergency meeting to discuss the consequences for the best actor winner earlier this week, and he now faces “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted,” per Variety.

So Will might not be able to get out of this jam unscathed.

[Image via Philadelphia Police Dept.]

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Mar 31, 2022 16:42pm PDT