Will Smith could face assault rap for smacking Chris Rock at Oscars

Will Smith hit Chris Rock on live TV after the funnyman joked about his wife's bald head

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Chris Rock has declined to file a complaint after actor Will Smith slapped him in the face on live TV during the Oscars – but prosecutors could still bring charges, experts told Fox News Digital.

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

"It was an open hand, there was no injury, so it's a misdemeanor assault," said criminal defense attorney Ben Brafman, who represented late pop star Michael Jackson against child molestation charges. "It's a discretionary call, but I don't think [prosecutors] will do it without a cooperating witness."

WILL SMITH, CHRIS ROCK OSCARS FEUD MAY HAVE STARTED IN 2016

The LAPD released a statement Sunday night stating that the agency was aware of the incident, but that Rock, who was not named directly, wasn't interested in pressing charges.

This combination of pictures shows actor Will Smith (L), his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and comedian Chris Rock. 

This combination of pictures shows actor Will Smith (L), his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and comedian Chris Rock.  ( Photo by ANGELA WEISS,ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Video of the bizarre beef shows Will Smith smacking Rock in the face after the comedian joked about his wife and actress Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head and her prepping for a role in "G.I. Jane 2". The actress has publicly discussed her struggle with a hair loss condition called alopecia. 

The comment prompted Smith, 53, to storm the stage, attack Rock then curse, "Keep my wife's name out of your f--king mouth!" After the outburst, Smith strode back on stage to tearfully accept his first Academy Award for best actor in the film "King Richard."

Criminal and civil lawyer Todd Spodek, who represented fake heiress Anna Sorokin, said the most appropriate charge for Smith's conduct is simple battery, which carries a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of $2,000.

Will Smith (R) and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. 

Will Smith (R) and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

He agreed with Brafman that Rock doesn't have to cooperate for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office to bring a case against the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star, especially given that the confrontation was captured on video. 

In domestic violence cases, prosecutors often try suspects without the cooperation of the victims, said Spodek whose law firm has an office in Los Angeles. 

"However, one must wonder if this was not a strategic move on behalf of the Oscars, and it has certainly created significant buzz that would not have existed but for the slap," he told Fox News Digital.

The shocking incident lit up Twitter, and the uncensored video of the altercation has garnered more 33 million views.

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Attorney Ted Williams, who is also a former Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department homicide investigator, said Smith could face civil consequences. 

"Chris Rock could sue Will Smith for damages and those damages could be physical as well as psychological," Williams told Fox News Digital. "You’re talking about someone who was humiliated and embarrassed in a very public forum, and as a result of that, he certainly would have a viable civil action."

Williams added that while he doesn't think Smith will be charged for the assault, he should be.

"We cannot have individuals in a modern society going around and attacking other individuals," he said. "The world was watching. Young people were watching, young people who look up to Will Smith as a role model."

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Reps for Smith and Rock didn't immediately return requests for comment.