Will Smith finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor on Sun day night in Los Angeles for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father to tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, in the biopic King Richard.

But the win was overshadowed by an incident after presenter Chris Rock cracked a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith took to the stage and slapped the comedian across the face.

The show cut to silence after the altercation, as Smith told Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your f***g mouth!”

On the movie, once all had calmed down, Smith said: “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family.”

Smith then apologised for the incident. “I want to apologise to the Academy, I want to apologise to all the nominees. This is a beautiful moment. I am not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning, it’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.” He continued by thanking Venus and Serena Williams, and much of the cast and crew of King Richard.”