Dave Chappelle said he actually spoke to his alleged Hollywood Bowl attacker backstage after Tuesday’s attack — and the wannabe rapper gave a rambling reason for why he did it, a report said.
The famous comic told the crowd at a secret comedy show in Los Angeles Thursday night that he convinced security to let him approach Isaiah Lee, 23, before he was hauled away by cops, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I needed to talk to him,” the 48-year-old told the crowd.
Chappelle said he asked Lee why he did it — and the accused attacker launched into a story about how his grandmother had been forced out her Brooklyn neighborhood because of gentrification, the publication reported.
Lee’s on-stage attack was supposed to shed light on her situation, Chappelle said.
The comedian said that Lee — who two years ago put out a rap song named after Chappelle — appeared to be mentally ill.
Lee’s older brother, Aaron Lee, revealed in a Rolling Stone interview Wednesday that his sibling struggles with mental illness and takes medication.
He said Lee, a Brooklyn native, relocated to California when he was young after their grandmother died.
Lee has been in and out of Los Angeles homeless shelters for the past decade, his brother added.
The 23-year-old pleaded not guilty on Friday to four misdemeanor charges after allegedly tackling Chappelle during his Tuesday show while armed with a bizarre knife that looks like a handgun.
He faced court with a swollen eye and his arm in a black sling after he was roughed up by security moments after the attack.
Elsewhere in Thursday’s standup show, Chappelle quipped he’d been “smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair” as he joked with Chris Rock about his infamous encounter with Will Smith at this year’s Oscars.
“At least you got smacked by someone of repute,” Chappelle said to his fellow comedian. Rock hit back: “I got smacked by the softest n—a that ever rapped.”