FACT CHECK: No, Chris Rock Is Not Pressing Charges Against Will Smith

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims comedian Chris Rock decided to press charges against actor Will Smith after the on-stage altercation at the Academy Awards.

Verdict: False

Rock has declined to bring any charge against Smith in connection with the recent incident at the Academy Awards. There are no reports suggesting Rock has reversed that decision.

Fact Check:

Smith slapped Rock on stage March 27 after the latter made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, during the Academy Awards, according to CNN. After the incident, Smith was asked to leave by officials but refused to do so, The New York Times reported.

The April 2 Facebook post alleges Rock “is pressing charges” and adds, “Now let’s see how the judicial system treats an Oscar winner.” (RELATED: Does This Picture Show Nicole Kidman Reacting To Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock At The Oscars?)

Rock has not publicly announced plans to legally charge Smith nor has he directly commented on the incident on social media or on his website. There are no reports from any news outlets suggesting Rock has decided to press charges against Smith. Likewise, Smith has not made any comments on his own social media profiles suggesting that he was now facing charges.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) indicated that Rock had declined to press charges against Smith following the incident at the Academy Awards, though Rock would be able to pursue charges at a later date if he wished, according to CBS News. There are no announcements on the department’s press release page suggesting Rock has changed his mind.

Singer Joel Patrick jokingly stated in an April Fools’ Day Facebook post that Rock was “pressing charges” against Smith, who was “expected to turn himself in to authorities.” Some users assumed the post to be true, sharing it over 300 times.

Smith announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a statement shared April 1, according to Rolling Stone. The organization’s president David Rubin stated that while the Academy had accepted Smith’s resignation, disciplinary proceedings would continue, the outlet reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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