In the press line, Will greeted the Ukrainian reporter, as he walked up to Smith on the red carpet and hugged him first, then kissed him on both cheeks before trying ‘to go for the lips’.
Instinctively, Will Smith, 43, responded with a backhanded slap to the reporter’s face, angrily saying, “Come on man, what the hell is your problem buddy?”
Two women walking with Smith turned when they heard the slap. Will explained, “Sorry, he kissed me on my mouth!”
He quickly gathered his composure, smiling and saying to a cameraman, “This joker. He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him.”
“I’m so sorry,” one of his shocked female handlers said.
“No, no. It’s all good,” Smith said with a laugh as he moved on to the next interview. Sources say, he continued to walk down the red carpet and talk to other reporters and sign autographs for fans.
The reporter, known for trying to kiss male celebrities as part of his on-air gimmick, quietly and quickly stepped behind a cameraman before leaving the area.
Will Smith has not commented about the incident.