The sources “with direct knowledge” who “were present” at the show also alleged to TMZ that show producer Will Packer had told the “King Richard” star “he could stay.”
The Academy, however, told the Associated Press Wednesday night, “Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”
A rep for the org did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment Thursday on the conflicting report.
Smith shocked viewers and audience members Sunday night when he rushed on stage at the Oscars to slap Chris Rock after the comic, 57, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.
A few minutes later, Smith took to the stage again to accept the award for Best Actor. In a tearful speech, he apologized to everyone but Rock.
Smith did, however, issue a formal apology to the “Saturday Night Live” alum Monday.
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” he wrote in a statement on Instagram. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about my Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
The “Bad Boys” star added, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
Many, including Oscar co-hosts Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes, have been left miffed by how the Academy handled the debacle.
“I was like, ‘How gross is this?’” Sykes, 58, told Ellen DeGeneres Wednesday. “This is just the wrong message. If you assault somebody, you get escorted out of the building and that’s it, but for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross.”