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Dave Chappelle alleged attacker claims Will Smith inspired his tackling of comedian: report

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The man who was arrested for tackling Dave Chappelle on stage at the Hollywood Bowl claimed he was inspired by actor Will Smith, who pulled a stunt at the 2022 Oscars by slapping Chris Rock after taking offense to a joke made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. 

Isaiah Lee, 23, spoke with the New York Post in a jailhouse interview on Monday and lamented to the outlet that while he felt Rock was out of line with the “G.I Jane” joke he made at Pinkett Smith’s expense, speaking to hair loss from alopecia, ultimately Smith was “standing up for his wife,” and that action is what inspired him to do the same for those Lee felt Chappelle offended with his commentary surrounding the LGBTQ and homeless communities.

“I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect,” Lee claimed, according to The Post. “I wanted Dave Chappelle and people to know that these are things you need to be more sensitive about and not joke about.” 

Lee pressed that he felt “triggered” by Chappelle’s jokes but added that his decision to rush the stage carried ulterior motives as well.

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“I’m not going to lie… it was a bit of clout-chasing,” said the rapper before reportedly further claiming: “In Hollywood, you know they say there is no such thing as bad publicity. I rap about these things in my music and knew it would get attention.” 

Lee claims the act has since gotten him some pull inside the Twin Towers correctional facility where he is being housed and other inmates often ask if he is the man who tackled Chappelle.

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“They come up to me and ask, ‘Hey, are you the guy who went up to Dave Chappelle?’’ Lee said, adding. “I feel safer here right now than being outside because I’m going to need to find and hire security.” 

Lee claimed that some of the funnyman’s close pals also allegedly “jumped” him backstage.

An image provided by the LAPD shows a replica gun-knife combination Isaiah Lee possessed when he allegedly attacked comedian Dave Chappelle.
(Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images; LAPD)

“They were stomping on me all over and on my ribs and said, ‘Are you stupid, kid? Why the hell did you do that?’” Lee recalled.

“I couldn’t say anything. They kept kicking me. For a few days, it was hard for me to breathe. At one point, someone spit on me, but I don’t know who.”

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Lee further alleged that he doesn’t suffer from any mental deficiencies.

“Just because you are bipolar, it doesn’t stop you from… reaching success,” Lee said. 

Lee, an aspiring rapper, is being held on $30,000 bail. A judge denied his request for a bail reduction May 10 in the Chappelle case.

DAVE CHAPPELLE HOLLYWOOD BOWL ATTACK: COMEDIAN TEHRAN VON GHASRI CLAIMS ‘SECURITY DISMISSED’ HIS ‘CONCERN’

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer charged Lee with four misdemeanor counts of battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault, unauthorized access to the stage area during a performance and commission of an act that delays the event or interferes with the performer. 

Lee pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Reps for Smith and Chappelle did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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