Will Smith won his first ever Oscar, but it has been overshadowed for his actions of stepping on stage to smack comedian Chris Rock. Smith issued a formal, public apology condemning his own actions.

As the world discusses the incident, members of Smith’s family are also weighing in. In an interview with ABC6 Action News, the actor’s mother, Carolyn Smith, and his younger sister Ellen Smith talked about being proud of his Best Actor win while sharing their surprise about his behavior.

His mother Carolyn discussed her son’s work ethic and how it has been long overdue of him getting awards for his tremendous acting.

“I know how he works, how hard he works,” she said. “He never half-steps and just to see him—I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting. When I heard the name, I was just, ‘Yes!'” Carolyn also admitted that she got the family group chat buzzing with an early morning Academy Awards text to congratulate Will ahead of the ceremony. Then, with the rest of the world, the Smith family watched as Will’s demeanor took a turn and he assaulted Rock.

“He is a very even, people person,” Carolyn added. “And that’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime… I’ve never seen him do that.” Sister Ellen Smith suggested that people see the actor as an inspiration or “goals,” but they “really don’t know what it takes to get there.”

“Everybody kind of like, has been bullied and abused in some kind of way and I totally understand,” said Ellen. “I’ve had conversations with him, and it was like, it really kind of broke my heart listening to the things that he’s said he had to go through to get to where he is.” The family doubled down on being proud of Smith and all of his accomplishments, and they trust he’ll handle the situation appropriately moving forward.

Check out the news segment with the Smith family below.