In this video image taken from AP video U.S. actor Will Smith, center right, walks away from reporter Vitalii Sediuk, white suit, from the Ukrainian television channel 1+1 after slapping him on the red carpet before the premiere [auth] of “Men in Black III” Friday May 18, 2012 in Moscow. Hollywood star Will Smith has slapped a male television reporter who tried to kiss him before the Moscow premiere of “Men in Black III.” Smith pushed him away and then slapped him lightly across the cheek with the back of his left hand. (AP Photo via AP video)
MOSCOW (AP) — Hollywood star Will Smith slapped a male television reporter who he said tried to kiss him on the lips as he walked down the red carpet for the Moscow premiere of “Men in Black III.”
The reporter from the Ukrainian television channel 1+1, Vitalii Sediuk, made headlines at the Venice Film Festival in September when he presented a bouquet of clearly unappreciated purple hydrangeas to Madonna and called her “my princess.”
Smith was even less charmed by the reporter, who approached him on the carpet outside the movie theater on Friday night and tried to kiss him.
“C’mon man, what the hell is your problem buddy?” Smith said as he pushed Serdiuk away and slapped him lightly across the cheek with the back of his left hand.
“He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him,” Smith said to the crowd of journalists and fans. “Oh, I said that on camera. It’s all good.”
He said he thought Sediuk tried to kiss him on the mouth, but it was not clear whether the reporter intended to do so or was aiming for his cheek as Smith swiveled to avoid him.
Madonna rebuffed Sediuk rather ungraciously in Venice, saying: “I absolutely loathe hydrangeas.” She stashed the flowers under a table before beginning a press conference.
She later made a short silent video called “Madonna’s love letter to hydrangeas.” The video begins with a sarcastic apology and concludes with subtitles reading “I’m left with the feeling that I still hate hydrangeas.”