After the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her bald appearance, Smith took to the stage and slapped Rock. He later apologised but was subsequently banned from the Oscars ceremony for ten years.
Speaking at a private screening of his new film Emancipation, Smith revealed that the former boxing champion was there for him in the aftermath of the incident.
In a video obtained by TMZ, Smith says: “I want to say something also about Floyd. So, we’ve met each other, we’ve seen each other around, but we weren’t like, friends. And, the day after the Oscars, for 10 days he called me every day.”
Smith revealed that Mayweather would give him pep talks: “And, he was like, ‘Ay, you know you the champ, right? You good? You know you the champ, right? I want you to hear my voice say it.’”
The King Richard star affirmed his support for the controversial boxer who has been jailed for domestic abuse, saying: “Every day he called me and… that’s my dude forever right there.”
Emancipation will be Smith’s first film since the Oscars incident which saw him condemned by various Hollywood figures including Kevin Hart, Jim Carrey and Steve Coogan. Smith’s actions were defended by Denzel Washington, Tiffany Haddish and his Bad Boys co-star Martin Lawrence.
Emancipation, which is directed by Antoine Fuqua and co-stars Ben Foster is the story of an enslaved man who makes his way north to join the Union Army.
The film is loosely based on the true story of Gordon, who was the subject of photos depicting a scarred back from whipping.
Emancipation will be released on Apple TV+ on 9 December.
Watch below: Will Smith set to return in Emancipation following Oscars fiasco