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Chris Rock hits the LA scene over Oscar weekend, two years after Will Smith slap




It remains to be seen whether Chris Rock will venture back into the Dolby Theater for the first time since “The Slap.”

But the New York-based star certainly seems set to hit the Oscars party scene this weekend.

Rock, who steered clear entirely last year on the anniversary of Will Smith’s stunning assault, was spotted outside of the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood at around 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, and a source described him as “cheerful” and “ready to make the rounds.”

Chris Rock and Melissa Etheridge
Rock was in a great mood hanging out with Etheridge outside of the Sunset Marquis. Instagram/@georgewhirlofficial

“He was in such a great mood. He was very cheerful, like he was out and about and ready to make the rounds… [The slap] felt like water under the bridge,” a spy told Page Six.

Smith was nowhere in sight. (Last we heard, the actor who stormed the stage in 2022 and clobbered the comic while he was presenting an award, was in Miami shooting “Bad Boys 4.”) But singer Melissa Etheridge was at the starry hotel and Rock was extremely happy to see her, we hear.

“He was shouting, ‘Hey Melissa Etheridge, it’s Chris Rock,’ clearly in better spirits [than two years ago],” our source said.

Chris Rock
Rock hosted the Oscars in 2016, but it’s unclear if he’ll appear on Sunday. Getty Images

Etheridge shared their chance meeting on X along with a selfie of them grinning from ear to ear.

R.O.M.E founder and former Vanity Fair columnist George Wayne also snapped the entertainers’ impromptu mutual admiration society meeting, and posted a shot of their moment on his Instagram.

Chris Rock
Rock was in a “great Oscar mood” according to former Vanity Fair columnist George Wayne. AFP via Getty Images

He speculated, “Chris Rock wants to have fun this season… it’s obvious. Which means he’ll prolly [sic] stay all night at [Guy Oseary’s Oscar party] way late Sunday into Monday when the sun comes up on Santa Monica Boulevard.”

Will Smith and Chris Rock
Will Smith assaulted Rock during his last appearance a the awards show in 2022. Getty Images

Rock fled to Oseary’s pad after the infamous slap, where we reported he was consoled by A-List pals.

“Chris was very calm, there was a lot of love for him at that party,” a source told us at the time.

“Wanda Sykes was his wingman for the night. He was sitting at Guy’s dining table, and people lined up to console him and offer support,” they added.

We hear Rock has been spending time in LA while working on a new project. Reps for Rock and the Academy Awards did not comment on whether he will attend the show on Sunday.