If you haven’t heard of Jussie Smollett you are not missing out on much.
Smollett had told the police, when they responded to his 911 call, that on the morning of January 29, 2019, he was walking home when two men who recognized him from Empire, a TV show where Smollett played a gay, black musician for 4 years, started hurling racist and homophobic abuses at him.
When the Chicago police arrived, Smollett was still wearing a noose supposedly put over his head by the 2 men whom Smollett didn’t know. According to Smollett, these men, one white, were yelling “This is Maga country,” referring to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. They also threw bleach on him, punched him in the face and yelled racist and homophobic slurs according to Smollett.
Hearing this story, when it first happened, convinced most people that it definitely sounded like a horrific hate crime. Many celebrities and social media supported this victim in addition to the Democrats who called it as another example of racism and bigotry under the Trump administration, Republicans alleged that the attack was an attempt to villainise the former president’s supporters as racist.
The following month it was found that Smollett orchestrated the attack in order to get more publicity for his career and a better salary. He sent himself the disparaging letter, and hired 2 Nigerian brothers who he knew from playing extras on Empire, at a cost of $3,500. Olabinjo, one of the brothers, testified that he could not manage to get the rope around Smollett’s neck on the night of the attack. By the time police arrived to question Smollett, it was around his neck – which suggests he put it there himself
Reports alleged that the actor tried to use his influence on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who recused herself just before her office dropped 16 felony charges. Sometimes it pays to know people, until it backfires.
Fortunately, there is some justice in Chicago. An investigation ensued to find out the facts of this case and why the charges were dropped. The charges were reinstated on February 11, 2020, and the actor pleaded not guilty on February 24th.
The big day final came. No, not The Oscars, but the trial that determined this actor was guilty of 5 counts of felony. Smollett will spend 150 days in jail, 30 months on probation, and ordered to pay restitution of just over $120,000 plus a $25,000 criminal fine.
After his sentence, Smollett was screaming, “I did not do this. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it myself,” as left the courtroom with his fist raised, continuing to declare his innocence. “I could have said that I was guilty a long time ago.” This might be his last audition for the part he did get – Jail Time!
In addition, this pathetic person was fired from Empire, was the subject of ridicule by Black celebrities and the subject of a skit on SNL.
He, his supporters and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx refuse to take responsibility for their actions for a very expensive clown show. It was a faked hate crime, at the worst possible time for Chicago, and Smollett compounded his mistakes by continuously appearing on TV to continue the lies.
Will he get his career back? Time will tell.