Actor Denzel Washington on Saturday revealed more details about his interaction with Will Smith during the 2022 Oscars, telling attendees at a leadership summit, “The only solution was prayer.”

Denzel Washington, times Washington was candid about his faith

Washington made the remarks during a session at T.D. Jakes’ International Leadership Summit in Charlotte, N.C., which was planned before Washington’s headline-grabbing exchange with Smith.

“You stepped in the middle of World War 3,” Jakes told Washington as both laughed. “… You came in as a senior statesman into that situation.”

Smith, during the Oscars on March 27, walked on stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock after the latter made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada.

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During the commercial break, attendees saw Washington approach Smith and talk to him.

“What happened?” Jakes asked.

“There’s a saying when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong,” Washington told Jakes. “… The devil goes, ‘Oh, no, leave him alone – he’s my favorite. Don’t bother him.’ Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because you’re trying to do something right. And for whatever reason, the devil got ahold of him, of that circumstance that night.”

Smith referenced Washington during his acceptance speech for Best Actor, saying, “Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful – that’s when the devil comes for you,'”

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Washington told Jakes that he wasn’t the only one to approach Smith.

“Fortunately, there were people there – not just me but others in the gap. [Actor] Tyler Perry came, immediately, right over there with me and some prayers [were said] … I don’t want to say what we talked about,” Washington said at the summit to applause. “There but for the grace of God go any of us – you know? – who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of this situation, but I know the only solution was prayer – the way I saw it.”

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