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Will Smith Opens Up About Slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars: 'I Lost It'

94th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
94th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

David Livingston/Getty Will Smith

Will Smith is opening up about slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards.

"There's many nuances and complexities to it, you know, but at the end of the day, I just — I lost it," Smith said on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Monday — his first since he struck Rock.

"I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody's going through," he added in a more serious tone about the moment he slapped Rock for directing a joke toward his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

"You just don't know what's going on with people," added Smith, 54. "And I was going through something that night."

"Not that that justifies my behavior at all."

Smith slapped Rock at the March 27 ceremony shortly before his win for Best Actor, when he walked onstage and hit the comedian on live TV for making a joke about Pinkett Smith's shaved head. (Jada, 51, lives with alopecia.)

RELATED: Will Smith Says He Understands If People Are 'Not Ready' to See Emancipation After Oscars Incident

Will Smith - "Emancipation" | The Daily Show
Will Smith - "Emancipation" | The Daily Show

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah/Youtube Will Smith and Trevor Noah

The actor explained in a statement days later that the punchline was "too much for me to bear" and he "reacted emotionally."

Speaking to Noah, Monday he also revealed the impact the events had on those closest to him — including his young nephew Dom, 9, who "stayed up late to see his Uncle Will" at the 94th Academy Awards.

For more on Will Smith, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

"Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?" he said Dom asked him when he got home.

"We just got to be nice to each other, man," the father of three stated in reflection about what he learned from the incident. "It's hard. And I guess the thing that's the most painful for me is I took my heart and I made it hard for other people."

RELATED: Will Smith Didn't Consider the Ramifications' of Chris Rock Smack: 'An Out-of-Body Moment' (Source)

Will Smith - "Emancipation" | The Daily Show
Will Smith - "Emancipation" | The Daily Show

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah/Youtube Will Smith

"It was a lot of things," he said about the motivation for his actions and his past history of fearing conflict. "It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother. All of that bubbled up in that moment ... You know, just, that's not who I want to be ... I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time."

"I have no independent recollection..." Smith added in reference to Noah describing the awards show as one of the "best and worst" nights of the actor's life. "Yeah, that was a horrific night, as you can imagine," said Smith.

In the weeks following the show, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was eventually banned from attending Academy events for a decade. He has since apologized multiple times for his actions, including to Rock.

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The Men In Black actor is also about to return to the big screen for the first time since the Oscars in the slavery epic Emancipation, for which he is still technically eligible to be nominated for another Academy Award.

"But he wouldn't be able to accept the award in person if he were to win," Entertainment Weekly Awards Correspondent Dave Karger tells PEOPLE.

RELATED: Will Smith Cries as He Shares 'One of the Most Beautiful Moments' from Emancipation Set

Will Smith Emancipation trailer
Will Smith Emancipation trailer

Apple TV+ Will Smith in Emancipation

The movie sees Smith star as Peter, a man whose escape from slavery forces him to rely "on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family" as he runs from slave hunters through Louisiana.

The upcoming movie is inspired by "the 1863 photos of 'Whipped Peter,' taken during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper's Weekly," a synopsis for the film reads.

One image from the set of photos called "The Scourged Back" shows the man's wounded back after a severe whipping from his enslavers — a photograph that "ultimately contributed to growing public opposition to slavery," according to the synopsis.

RELATED: Emancipation Director Defends Releasing Movie After Will Smith's 'One Bad Moment': 'Move Forward'

"American slavery was one of the most brutal aspects of human history," Smith told Noah Monday. "It was something that was so incomprehensible. It's hard to understand the level of human cruelty."

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"My daughter asked me, she's like, 'Daddy, do we really need another slave movie?' when I was thinking about it, and I was like — I said, 'baby, I promise you I would not make a slave movie, this is a freedom movie, you know."

Emancipation premieres in theaters Dec. 2 and begins streaming globally on Apple TV+ Dec. 9.