Serena Williams’ dad ‘King Richard’ breaks his silence on Will Smith’s Oscars scandal & jokes star can ‘slap my face’

SERENA Williams’ dad King Richard has broken his silence on Will Smith’s shocking Oscars scandal almost a year on, saying he doesn’t resent the star and joked he can slap his face if they ever meet.

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The former tennis coach, who was played by the actor in the Hollywood biopic King Richard, sat down with The U.S. Sun for a world-exclusive chat, his first in several years.

Richard Williams and his son, Chavoita LeSane, sat down for their first interview in years
Richard Williams and his son, Chavoita LeSane, sat down for their first interview in years
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Will Smith slaps comedian Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood
Will Smith slaps comedian Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood
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The former tennis coach has never directly spoken to Will Smith but hopes to meet him one day
The former tennis coach has never directly spoken to Will Smith but hopes to meet him one day

Richard and his family say they do not condone violence, but the 80-year-old insists he doesn’t judge Will for his mistake and was overjoyed with his portrayal in the movie, which won the star a golden statue for Best Actor.

Will stunned the world when he walked up to last year’s Academy Awards host Chris Rock and slapped him across the face for cracking a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

He then sat back down and bellowed: “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth,” as the audience fell silent and Rock appeared gobsmacked.

‘King Richard’, who has suffered multiple strokes and has some communication problems, did not attend the ceremony or watch it live but was shown the clip the next day on YouTube by his son, Chavoita LeSane.

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“I think that whatever he [Will] wants to do, that’s what he should do,” Richard chuckled, “People are going to think what they want to think.

“If he apologized [that’s good], however, he wants to deal with the situation. I wouldn’t judge anyone.”

In a video interview with The U.S. Sun, he also said: “They should let him keep his Oscar, too. When a person [has] worked for [it] so much, then leave it alone.

“I really appreciate him doing so very much so I could never criticize him,” adding that a 10-year ban from the Academy was too harsh, quipping “just two days, that’s enough, that’s very much.”

Asked if he’s upset at the star at all as the scandal overshadowed the movie’s success, Richard said: “No, he’s done a great deal for myself and my family. I think he did extremely well, it was very wonderful.”

Although Serena and Venus worked on the movie, which was their success story told through the eyes of their father, Will and Richard never communicated during the process.

Richard did not attend any promotional events or talk about the movie around its release as he tends to shy away from the limelight and press, preferring to live a quiet life in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Asked if he would like to meet Will, 54, one day, Richard replied: “I definitely hope so, yes,” saying he would thank him for all of his hard work.

He’s done a great deal for myself and my family.”

Richard Williams

“I would say just, hello. And maybe, what [we] should do … just slap my face.”

Asked why they were never in contact or managed to meet, he simply said: “He’s busy and I guess I’m busy also, different locations, so I hope we’re going to meet at some point.”

Chavoita is unaware of whether Serena or Venus tried to arrange for Will to meet their dad, adding that he was “disappointed” nothing materialized but he was happy with the movie.

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