Will Smith has said his “bottled” rage led him to slap comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars in March.
The actor has been interviewed for the first time since the incident, which he described as “a horrific night.”
Appearing on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he said: “I was going through something that night, you know?
“Not that that justifies my behavior at all.” Smith added that there were “many nuances and complexities to it”, but added: “I just – I lost it.”
Smith stormed the stage at the Academy Awards after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife's shaved head. Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, a type of hair loss.
‘I understand how shocking that was'
He previously stated that his wife did not request that he confront Rock.
“I guess what I would say is that you just never know what somebody's going through,” he said, without elaborating on what he was referring to.
The interview on the late-night US TV talk show was Smith's first public questioning about the attack.
“I understand how shocking that was for people… I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time,” he told Noah.
“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine.”
In July, he posted a video on YouTube answering questions about the Academy Awards that appeared to be written by fans. He had previously only issued written statements about the altercation.
He appeared on Monday's episode of The Daily Show to promote his upcoming film Emancipation, which will be released next week and will be eligible for Oscar consideration next year.
Smith, who received this year's best actor award after the slap, said the idea that his new the film would be “tainted” during the upcoming awards season by his actions was “killing me dead”.
The 54-year-old has been barred from attending the Oscars for ten years and has resigned from the Academy, which organizes the ceremony.
In a separate interview, he was asked what he would say to critics who claimed it was too soon for him to be promoting his work, and he responded, “I completely understand that if you know someone is not ready.”
“I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready.
“My deepest concern is my team. The people on this team have done some of the best work their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don't penalize my team.”