FACT CHECK: Does This Picture Show Will Smith In Front Of The Taj Mahal After Hitting Chris Rock?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Facebook supposedly shows actor Will Smith meditating at the Taj Mahal weeks after slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.

Verdict: False

The photo predates the incident at the Academy Awards by several years.

Fact Check:

Smith slapped Rock at the Academy Awards March 27 after the comedian made a joke about the shaved head of Smith’s wife, who has stated that she has alopecia, USA Today reported. Smith was banned from the academy for 10 years after an investigation by its Board of Governors, Variety reported.

The Facebook image shows a screenshot of an April 27 tweet featuring a photo of Smith sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed, seemingly meditating, with India’s Taj Mahal in the background.

“I’m sorry I know we all got tired of Will Smith jokes weeks ago but ‘did a photo-op meditating in front of the Taj Mahal as part of a ‘healing tour’ after slapping the Oscars host’ is such a Jenna Maroney arc I’m mad she never got it,” reads text included in the tweet. Maroney is a character in the satirical sitcom television series “30 Rock.”

The photo predates the Academy Awards incident. A nearly identical version of the image can be found on Getty Images along with a caption that indicates it was taken in October 2018. “Hollywood star Will Smith gestures as he visits the Taj Mahal in Agra on October 10, 2018,” reads the photo’s caption.

Smith shared a short clip of himself at the Taj Mahal on his verified Facebook page in October 2018. (RELATED: No, Chris Rock Did Not Issue This Statement Of Apology To Jada Pinkett Smith And Will Smith)

Smith was photographed at a Mumbai, India airport April 23, NDTV reported. The actor has not publicly shared any pictures or videos of himself on social media since issuing an apology on March 28 for hitting Rock.

The account that posted the tweet replied to it on April 28, commenting, “Apparently the picture is old but he did in fact go on a healing tour in India and if you’re out here trying to correct someone who’s wrong on the internet then that’s on you, not me.”

Check Your Fact previously corrected a false claim that Rock was pressing charges against Smith.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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