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Will Smith’s apology: 10 times other celebrities said they were sorry amid scandals


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Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, days after he released an apology for slapping Chris Rock during the Oscars.

Smith announced his resignation Friday, saying he had “betrayed the trust of the academy” in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.

“I have directly responded to the academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the academy,” Smith said. 

Smith added that he “deprived other nominees and winners” of their chance to celebrate and said he will accept any further consequences from the board.

WILL SMITH RESIGNS FROM ACADEMY AFTER CHRIS ROCK SLAP: ‘I BETRAYED THE TRUST OF THE ACADEMY’

Smith kept his Oscar in hand as he danced with party guests before making an early departure. 

Smith kept his Oscar in hand as he danced with party guests before making an early departure. 
(Getty Images)

“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” David Rubin, president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said in a statement. “We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18.”

The “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” also publicly apologized to Rock. 

“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith’s apology began.

The viral moment when Will Smith approached Chris Rock as he was presenting an Oscar and slapped him in the face over a joke Rock told about Jada Pinkett Smith.

The viral moment when Will Smith approached Chris Rock as he was presenting an Oscar and slapped him in the face over a joke Rock told about Jada Pinkett Smith.
(Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.

“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

“I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will,” he concluded.

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The conversation surrounding Smith’s now-viral slap has not died down, as dozens of celebrities are continuing to weigh in. The slap will likely go down in history as one of the most news-making moments from the prestigious awards show, but it’s certainly not the first time a star in Hollywood has voiced regret for actions.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock share a history since Will and Rock's time on "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" in the '90s.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock share a history since Will and Rock’s time on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” in the ’90s.
(Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Here’s a look at 10 other celebrities who have released apologetic statements after being at the center of big scandals.

1. Kanye West

Kanye West made headlines in 2009 when he stormed the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards and interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for best female video award to argue that Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was more deserving.

“Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!” the rapper said.

West faced fierce backlash for the move for ruining Swift’s moment and was called out by parents, fans and other stars.

He issued an apology to Swift on his blog at the time.

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Kanye West takes the microphone from Taylor Swift and speaks onstage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall Sept. 13, 2009, in New York City.  

Kanye West takes the microphone from Taylor Swift and speaks onstage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall Sept. 13, 2009, in New York City.  
(Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

“I’m sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom,” he wrote. “I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said. She is very talented! I like the lyrics about being a cheerleader and she’s in the bleachers! I’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!”

He also later apologized on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” “It was rude, period,” West said.

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2. Chris Brown

Chris Brown issued a public apology for the beating of Rihanna in 2016, saying in a two-minute video that he was seeking help and wants to live his life as a role model.

Brown released the video on his website, apologizing to fans and saying he was saddened and ashamed of his conduct. He also told viewers that he has repeatedly apologized to Rihanna.

Singers Chris Brown and Rihanna attend the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center Feb. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles. 

Singers Chris Brown and Rihanna attend the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center Feb. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles. 
(Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

Brown was arrested Feb. 8, hours after he fought with his then-girlfriend in a rented sports car after a pre-Grammy party. According to a police affidavit, Brown tried to push the then-21-year-old Barbados-born singer from the car and repeatedly hit her and choked her.

He fled but later turned himself in to authorities during the Grammy Awards, where he and Rihanna were slated to perform. He was later charged with assault likely to cause great bodily harm and making criminal threats. He pleaded guilty to the felony assault charge. A judge sentenced him to five years of probation and six months of community labor.

3. Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin publicly voiced his regret after calling his then-11-year-old daughter, Ireland Baldwin, a “rude, thoughtless little pig” in a leaked voicemail, leading the father-daughter duo to have an estranged relationship for many years.

Ireland Baldwin and Alec Baldwin attend the Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin in 2019.

Ireland Baldwin and Alec Baldwin attend the Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin in 2019.
(Rachel Luna/WireImage)

“I’m sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now,” Baldwin said in his apology. “You have to go through this to understand. (Although I hope you never do.) I am sorry for what happened.”

The two have since reconciled, but Ireland poked fun over the controversy in 2019 during “The Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin.”

“I almost didn’t even know about [the roast], because I haven’t checked my voicemails for the last 12 years,” she joked and got the crowd laughing.

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Ellen DeGeneres, Will Smith and Justin Bieber

Ellen DeGeneres, Will Smith and Justin Bieber
(Getty Images)

4. Justin Bieber

Pop star Justin Bieber was 20 years old when he apologized for an old video that surfaced showing him as a teenager telling a racist joke with the N-word. The video was shot when Bieber was emerging as a pop sensation.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Bieber said when he was a kid he didn’t realize how certain words could hurt. He said he learned from his mistakes and apologized for them and was apologizing again because they became public.

“I’m very sorry,” Bieber said in a statement he released. “I take all my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously, and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable behavior.”

Justin Bieber apologized for his use of the N-word in a video that was leaked years ago.

Justin Bieber apologized for his use of the N-word in a video that was leaked years ago.
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

“I thought it was OK to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but I didn’t realize at the time that it wasn’t funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance. Thanks to friends and family I learned from my mistakes and grew up and apologized for those wrongs. Now that these mistakes from the past have become public I need to apologize again to all of those who I have offended.”

In his statement, Bieber said “ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future.

“I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say but telling the truth is always what’s right.”

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5. Reese Witherspoon

The Oscar-winning actress released a statement in 2013 apologizing for her behavior toward police that began when her husband, Hollywood agent Jim Toth, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

This undated photo provided by the City of Atlanta Department of Corrections shows Reese Witherspoon after the Oscar-winning actress was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge.

This undated photo provided by the City of Atlanta Department of Corrections shows Reese Witherspoon after the Oscar-winning actress was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge.
(AP/City of Atlanta Department of Corrections)

Witherspoon, then 37, was arrested on a municipal charge of disorderly conduct after a state trooper said she wouldn’t stay in a vehicle while Toth was given a field sobriety test. 

“I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said,” Witherspoon said. “It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behavior.”

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The officer wrote in his report: “Mrs. Witherspoon asked, ‘Do you know my name?’ I answered, ‘No, I don’t need to know your name.’ I then added, ‘right now.’ Mrs. Witherspoon stated, ‘You’re about to find out who I am.

“Mrs. Witherspoon also stated, ‘You are going to be on national news,'” the officer’s report said. “I advised Mrs. Witherspoon that was fine.”

6. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Ex-California governor and Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to an extramarital affair in 2011 when it was discovered he fathered a child with one of his household employees, Mildred Baena, in 1996. In Schwarzenegger’s 2012 memoir, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,” he also admitted to an affair in 1985 with his “Red Sonja” co-star Brigitte Nielsen, though he was not yet married to Maria Shriver at the time.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver finalized their divorce in 2021.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver finalized their divorce in 2021.
(J. Redmond/WireImage via Getty Images)

“There are no excuses, and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

Shriver also broke her silence, saying, “This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment.”

Shriver, 66, filed for divorce from Schwarzenegger, 74, in July 2011, citing “irreconcilable differences.” However, their divorce wasn’t finalized until December 2021.

Schwarzenegger has maintained a relationship with the son he shares with Beana, Joseph.

7. Mike Richards

Mike Richards issued an apology over past inappropriate comments made on a podcast he previously hosted that resurfaced in the wake of his newly announced “Jeopardy!” hosting gig in 2021.

Richards hosted “The Randumb Show” from 2013 to 2014 while he was working at “The Price is Right.” During his time on the show, he made derogatory comments about women, people with mental disabilities, little people and the poor.

In a statement issued to Fox News following the resurfaced comments, Richards apologized for his past attempts at being “provocative” and vowed to do better in the future. 

Mike Richards apologized for past comments he made on a podcast he hosted between 2013 and 2014.

Mike Richards apologized for past comments he made on a podcast he hosted between 2013 and 2014.
(Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 via Getty Images)

“It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago,” Richards said. “Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast, and I am deeply sorry.”

He later stepped down from the hosting gig.

“Dear Team, it pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” he wrote in a statement released by Sony.

“As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days, it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.”

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8. Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres started Season 18 of her show by addressing the accusations of a toxic work environment and sexual misconduct that plagued the host’s reputation in 2020.

In her opening monologue, DeGeneres, then 62, took responsibility for the scandal. 

“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened,” she began.

Ellen DeGeneres' talk show is coming to an end in 2022.

Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show is coming to an end in 2022.
(Netflix)

“I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.

“This is ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’ I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there, my name is there, my name is on underwear,” the host joked. “We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes, and today we are starting a new chapter.”

The final season of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is airing in 2022.

9. Chris Harrison

“Bachelor” host Chris Harrison left his longtime gig following a racism controversy in 2021. 

He came under fire for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after photos resurfaced of her attending an “Old South” themed party at a plantation in 2018.

“I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf,” he wrote. 

Chris Harrison apologized for "speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism."

Chris Harrison apologized for “speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.”
(ABC/Craig Sjodin)

“What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better.”

10. Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen found herself at the center of a controversy when Courtney Stodden called out the model for years of unwarranted social media bullying

“Not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bulls–t in front of the entire world,” Teigen began in a series of tweets addressing the criticism from Stodden, who identifies as non-binary. “I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be. I was an insecure, attention seeking troll. I am ashamed and completely embarrassed at my behavior.”

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“But that is nothing compared to how I made Courtney feel,” Teigen continued. “I have worked so hard to give you guys joy and be beloved and the feeling of letting you down is nearly unbearable, truly. These were not my only mistakes and surely won’t be my last as hard as I try but god I will try!!”

Chrissy Teigen (right) has been accused of cyberbullying a number of celebrities, including Courtney Stodden (left).

Chrissy Teigen (right) has been accused of cyberbullying a number of celebrities, including Courtney Stodden (left).
(Getty Images)

The two-time cookbook author added that while she has “tried to connect with Courtney privately,” since Teigen “publicly fueled” all of the backlash she has since received for her past behavior and remarks, “I want to also publicly apologize.”

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“I’m so sorry, Courtney. I hope you can heal now knowing how deeply sorry I am,” the mother of two wrote, adding in a follow-up tweet, “And I am so sorry I let you guys down. I will forever work on being better than I was 10 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 months ago.”

Stodden opened up to Fox News in 2020 about the online bullying they received from Teigen over the years in which the “Chrissy’s Court” star allegedly made vile remarks to Stodden to “kill” themselves.





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