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Oscars: Police were ready to arrest Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock, says ceremony producer

Police officers were ready to arrest actor Will Smith at the Academy Awards after he slapped presenter Chris Rock, the ceremony’s producer has said.

Will Packer told ABC’s Good Morning America: "They were saying, you know, this is battery, was a word they used in that moment.

"They said: ‘We will go get him, we are prepared, we’re prepared to get him right now’."

Read more: Rock breaks silence on slap by Smith at Oscars as he returns to the comedy stage

Rock had joked about the appearance of Smith’s wife, prompting Smith to walk onto the stage and smack him in the face.

The scene was shown in live coverage of the Hollywood awards ceremony, leaving fans shocked.

But producer Mr Packer said Rock had told police officers afterwards that he did not want to take the matter further.

He described Rock, a comedian, as being "very dismissive of those options – he was like ‘no, no, no, I’m fine’.

"Even to the point where I said: ‘Rock, let them finish’."

Smith has apologised to Rock, producers, and viewers, saying he had "reacted emotionally" to the joke, which referred to the 1997 film GI Jane, in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head.

It was not clear whether Rock knew that Smith’s wife – Jada Pinkett Smith – has alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss.

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The Los Angeles Police Department said on Sunday that they were aware of what had happened but "the individual involved has declined to file a police report".

They added: "If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report."



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