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An alopecia sufferer targeted with the same insults as Will Smith's wife has backed his explosive reaction as "comforting".
Hollywood legend Smith, 53, slapped Academy Awards host Chris Rock, 57, after the comedian made an ill-advised quip about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith, 50.
Stand-up comedian Rock quipped that Pinkett Smith was set to make GI Jane 2, referring to her alopecia, which prompted Will Smith to approach Rock on stage and strike him.
Smith, who later won the Best Actor award at the ceremony, slapped Rock across the mouth before shouting: "Keep your wife's name out of your f***ing mouth."
Reality star ZaraLena Jackson, who also suffers from alopecia, firmly backed Smith's actions.
The Ex on the Beach contestant says that while she does not condone violence, Rock should have "known better".
The 29-year-old model said: "I think it's inappropriate to make any joke about someone with alopecia as it's a condition that highly impacts mental health for that individual and isn't a laughing matter.
"I heard Chris made a GI Jane comment, which I've had before myself. I saw Will's reaction and all I thought was, 'where can I get one of those?'.
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"To be clear, I don't condone violence, but him defending Jada showed strength in my eyes and was very comforting to see a man stand by his woman when she has alopecia."
The cosmetics business owner continued: "Being a comedian is very tongue in cheek and we all dislike when jokes are targeted as us, regardless of the subject, but he should of anticipated that response naturally and known better."
Jackson first appeared on Ex on the Beach in 2017 and soon turned to Instagram as an influencer after leaving the show.
The model started suffering from alopecia in 2020, being diagnosed with the disease after huge clumps of her hair started falling out.
ZaraLena had no hair at all six weeks after her diagnosis and says that the hair loss felt like "torture" and that it "stripped" her of her identity.
She claims also that she has been the victim of cruel jokes about her condition, and believes she would feel appreciative if she had a partner that stuck up for her as Smith did for wife Pinkett Smith at the Academy Awards ceremony.
She said: "It totally depends on who has made the joke. I've had it all – I've had strangers say 'hey baldy' which doesn't phase me at all, I am bald."
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The model continued: "I've had friends and family joke about 'let your hair down' or ask to borrow a razor or shampoo, which I just laugh at because I know they mean no harm and it can be humorous to see them panic without thinking about the comment.
"I've had a few reference me with the GI Jane comment. I think GI Jane looks insane though so I wasn't offended.
""If alopecia was taken as a medical condition and not cosmetic, the subject wouldn't be joked around lightly."
- Will Smith
- Jada Pinkett Smith
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