Will Smith Feels 'Less Ashamed' After Video Apology to Chris Rock, Source Says

A source tells ET that the Oscar winner 'more confident' and 'less depressed' following his impassioned apology.

Getting a weight off his chest. Will Smith is in improved spirits after his impassioned video apology to Chris Rock, which he posted in July.

A source tells ET, that, in the wake of his apology, "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," the source continues. "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 adds that Smith "knows he still has a lot of making up to to do and that it will all take time." However, the 53-year-old actor is "putting in the work and that is putting him in a better state mentally."

"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," the source says. "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 source adds that Smith thinks it is important to "ingrain the idea that violence is never the answer and show the public that he was wrong and is regretful, but that all people make mistakes and that we are all human, despite the career you may have."

Smith is "hopeful that time will heal things with Chris and that it will be okay between them with some time," the source shares.

On July 29, Smith shared a deeply personal video message to social media in which he apologized to Rock and the comedian's family, as well as his own family and friends, for the now-infamous Oscars slap scandal.

He also revealed that he had reached out to Rock. However, "the message that came back," Smith said, was that the comedian was not ready to talk and would reach out when he is. 

"It's all fuzzy," Smith said of that night. "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," Smith told viewers in the video confessional. "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**t." 

"I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking, but I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world," he said, "and, you know, if you hang on, I promise we'll be able to be friends again."

See the video below to hear more.