Will Smith is feeling "less ashamed" about smacking Chris Rock after making a video apology.
The 53-year-old actor struck the comedian - who made a joke about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaven head - across the face on less than an hour before he picked up his Best Actor statuette for his role in ‘King Richard’ at the Oscars back n March but is reportedly feeling more "confident" after releasing a public apology in July.
A source said: "Will is feeling much more confident and much more positive and less depressed. He was in very low spirits prior to making his public apology. He feels less ashamed now and more comfortable being out and about in public again because he has and continues to do the work that needs to be done for himself, his wife, his family, his friends, his colleagues, his fans, The Academy, Chris, and Chris' family."
The source went on to explain that Will - who has been married to Jada, 50, since 1997 and has Jaden, 24, and Willow, 21, with her - wanted to set a "good example" for his children with the apology and that he was "adamant" to handle the situation in a responsible way.
The insider told ETOnline: "Will was so regretful of the situation and the situation he put his family in with all of the backlash, especially publicly. He wanted to acknowledge his wrongdoings and apologize and take accountability. He feels he answered some questions, said the things that needed to be said, and took ownership of his actions. Will wanted to make sure he set a good example for his kids and was adamant about handling the situation responsibly. He has taken this very seriously and his loved ones commend him."
The comments come just weeks after the 'Bad Boys' star reached out to Chris publicly and claimed he had been hurt both "psychologically and emotionally" by the incident.
He said: "It's all fuzzy. I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk. I hate when I let people down. So it hurts, it hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn't live up to people's image and impression of me. And the work I'm trying to do is, I am deeply remorseful and I'm trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I'm human and I made a mistake, and I'm trying not to think of myself as a piece of s***."