The Hollywood star lost his cool when a male journalist tried to land a smooch on his lips before the screening in Russia last week (18May12), and he shoved the man away with a light back-handed slap across the face.
The Ukrainian reporter, named as Vitalii Sediuk, has now apologised for his behaviour.
He tells HipHollywood.com, “I’m sorry, Will. It was a splash of emotion. I do apologise for my behaviour. I think it was too much. Will Smith is a person who I deeply respect as an actor. When I met him in Moscow, I wanted to do something to impress him. We have a Slavic tradition. I don’t kiss every man or woman when I see them in the street, but that time I decided to do that. Next time, if I meet him, I’ll just shake his hand.”
Smith told U.S. TV host David Letterman on Tuesday (22May12) that he wasn’t pleased by the ambush: “We’re doing an interview and he says, ‘I’m you’re biggest fan, can I have a hug?’ So I go to give this joker a hug, and he tries to lean in and kiss me! It’s just awkward. They were saying, ‘We’re sorry, that’s just his schtick’. Well that’s why his a** got schtuck.”