In his first interview in nearly two years, Jussie Smollett spoke to journalist Marc Lamont Hill about a wife range of issues connected directly, and tangentially, to his ongoing legal battle in Chicago. But while he was careful to be clear that he won’t speak about the specifics of that case — “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys” — he did say that he isn’t sure “what staying quiet has really done.”“It’s been beyond frustrating because to be somebody that’s so outspoken … it’s been difficult to be so quiet. To not be able to say all of the things that you want to say, to not be able to yell from the rooftop,” he told Hill in the interview, which was posted to Hill’s Instagram on Wednesday night. “Because, I don’t think people realize that I’ve just been wrapped up in some form of a case for the last, approaching, in just a couple of months approaching two years. It’s been beyond frustrating. I’m certainly not going rogue. I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that. But I just don’t see honestly what staying quiet has really done. Where it has gotten me.”Frequently challenged by Hill about the details of the case and his story of what happened, Smollett largely avoided specifics as promised, but he did say he feels unlikely that he’ll prevail in his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Thursday. “They won’t let this go. It doesn’t matter. There is an example being made. And the sad thing is that there’s an example being made of someone that did not do what they’re being accused of,” he said.Also Read: Jussie Smollett Investigation Marked by 'Substantial Abuses of Discretion,' Special Prosecutor SaysHill brought up the fact that Chicago police say they were unable to find evidence of any hate crime from the 2019 incident Smollett is accused of faking. “They couldn’t find anybody that fit the description that you gave them. And that was one of the first things that made the public say, ‘Hey wait a minute, maybe this isn’t true,” Hill noted.“I would say, and again I have to be careful what I say because I’m still in a court case, but at the same time, it’s out there. There’s also two other witnesses that saw white men. That saw exactly what I say that I saw,” Smollett responded.He said his version of the story was overshadowed by “lies” that were “shouted from the rooftops,” and that nothing which corroborated his story was widely publicized. Smollet also said that video footage exists of the incident as he says it happened. “But of course, it cuts off right before it happens,” he said.Hill noted that how that cutoff could seem “awfully convenient” to a lot of people. “I certainly didn’t have the power to cut the tape, so who cut the tape?” Smollett responded, a possible reference to numerous instances in which Chicago Police have been caught destroying or dishonestly editing video evidence. “I’m in a case,” Smollett continued, “so y’all gotta do the detective work.”Also Read: Jussie Smollett Emerges From His Own Self-Imposed Isolation to Sing Us a Song (Video)Smollett did call out former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who he said “really has no place” in government, specifically for the unusual decision to sue Smollett to recoup overtime costs for officers investigating the case.At one point, Hill asked Smollett what he would say to people who think he did pull a hoax as he’s accused. To that, Smollet said: “I’m a human being like everybody else. I ingest the media and I read the headlines and all that type of stuff. And I’ve been guilty of taking things at face value as well. But when you see that happening, and they talking about you. You know it’s not true. Somehow it becomes different.”“So on one hand, when I step back, I can see the way that they played the narrative, the way that they served it to people. That it was intentionally created to make people doubt from the very very beginning. But at the same time, I’m not really living for the people that don’t believe, because of the fact that I don’t know what to say. I can’t take that on,” he added.There’s a lot more. Watch the whole video — the Smollett interview kicks in at the halfway mark.View this post on Instagram Marc Lamont Hill sits down with Jussie Smollett to discuss his case, police corruption, BLM, and more. First, activists Aislinn Pulley and Angela Davis offer critical insights on the history of policing, abolition, and the broader implications of the Smollett case.A post shared by Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) on Sep 9, 2020 at 7:18pm PDTRead original story Jussie Smollett Gives First Interview Since Feb 2019: ‘It’s Been Difficult to Be So Quiet’ (Video) At TheWrap
A special prosecutor has concluded there were "substantial abuses of discretion" in the Jussie Smollett case and that officials involved made false or misleading statements to the public. Special prosecutor Dan Webb on Monday detailed the findings of his investigation into how the Cook County state's attorney's office handled the case against the Empire actor, and the probe did not conclude that officials broke the law, The New York Times reports. However, Webb's investigation established "abuses of discretion and operational failures" in the case.Smollett in 2019 said he had been the victim of a hate crime and that two men attacked him in Chicago while yelling racist and homophobic slurs, only for police to charge Smollett and accuse him of orchestrating the attack. Later, all of the charges against Smollett were unexpectedly dropped, and amid questions about what led to this outcome, a special prosecutor was appointed to look into the case. Webb says that he spoke with many Cook County officials who were "shocked" by the decision to drop the charges, BuzzFeed News reports.Additionally, the report says that the state's attorney's office "breached its obligations of honesty and transparency" by making false or misleading public statements. For example, the report says that even though Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx claimed that she stopped communicating with Smollet's sister, actress Jurnee Smollett, after being made aware that Smollett was the subject of an investigation, she actually "continued communicating" with her for several more days. Webb also said that a statement from the office about other cases having similar outcomes as Smollett's was misleading.In February, Smollett was once again indicted by a grand jury for allegedly lying to the police. He continues to maintain his innocence. The Cook County state's attorney's office in a statement said that it "categorically rejects" the allegation that it made false statements about the case. More stories from theweek.com Bill Clinton is getting sidelined at the DNC Andrew Cuomo criticized for writing mid-pandemic book about his response to the pandemic John Boehner would 'rather set himself on fire' than get involved in the 2020 election
A special prosecutor in Chicago accused Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office on Monday of repeatedly abusing their discretion and making false public statements in the case against actor Jussie Smollett last year, but he concluded they did nothing criminal. In his 12-page outline of his conclusion released Monday, Dan Webb criticized Foxx and her staff for how they decided on March 26 last year to toss charges that the former “Empire” actor staged a racist, homophobic attack against himself and how they explained the move as public outrage grew. Webb’s statement said his investigation “did not develop evidence that would support any criminal charges against State’s Attorney Foxx or any individual working at (her office)" but “did develop evidence that establishes substantial abuses of discretion and operational failures” in the case.
Smollett defended her brother Jussie, who was accused of staging a hate crime and lying to the police about it in January 2019.
A Cook County judge on Friday shot down actor Jussie Smollett's attempt have the criminal charges against him dropped, telling the actor that the new charges against him do not violate his right against double jeopardy. Smollett's attorneys made the double jeopardy argument after a special prosecutor secured a six-count indictment on charges alleging that he lied to police about a racist and anti-gay attack that police say he staged himself. The new case came months after the county's state's attorney's office abruptly announced it was dropping charges against the actor, angering police and City Hall.
Fans are mad about the last-minute finale, which was thrown together after the season was cut short due to the coronavirus.
The former "Empire" actor has broken his silence to maintain his innocence.
Wendy Williams weighed in on the latest updates in the Jussie Smollett case, saying the actor will "never work again."
Jussie Smollett faces new, six-count indictment as special prosecutor finds "charges were appropriate" last year.
The question surrounding Jussie Smollett's potential return to Empire for the Fox drama's series finale this May can now be definitively answered. "We're not going to bring Jussie back to the show," Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn tells TVLine. "There were a number of factors that went into the decision to not bring him back. There were many […]
Empire may be getting the band back together for one final encore. Showrunner Brett Mahoney tells TVLine that discussions are underway to possibly have embattled former cast member Jussie Smollett return as Jamal before the show wraps its six-season run this spring. "It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this […]
Smollett maintains he was the victim of a racial and homophobic attack and alleges malicious prosecution.
The "Empire" actor took to the social media comments on a different story to maintain his innocence against claims he staged a hate crime against himself in January. "My story has actually never changed," he said.
"I think there is a great deal of affection for him and it is disappointing not having him there," Danny Strong, co-creator of Empire, said.
The Chicago Police Department released new surveillance footage and files in regards to the Jussie Smollett hoax case on Monday, including one that shows the "Empire" actor shortly after the alleged attack. In one of the videos, police body-cam footage shows authorities entering Smollett's Chicago apartment, led by his manager, Frank Gatson. Smollett is found […]
A Cook County, Illinois, judge has ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the controversial decision to drop all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett. Judge Michael Toomin ruled Friday that State’s Attorney Kim Foxx could not legally appoint her top deputy to handle the case in her place after she withdrew from […]
“Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels denied a report Tuesday that Jussie Smollett is in talks to return for the final season of the Fox drama.“This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire,” Daniels tweeted in response to a Variety story, which first reported the news of Smollett’s potential return.Following Variety’s initial story, multiple individuals familiar with the situation subsequently told TheWrap that Smollett was in early talks to make a return to “Empire.”The show’s writers have already begun developing story ideas to potentially bring back Smollett’s character, Jamal, for the sixth and final season, though the situation was described by one individual as “very premature.”Also Read: Summer TV Premiere Dates: Here's Every New and Returning Show (Photos)Discussions about Smollett’s possible return come weeks after “Empire” was renewed for its sixth and final season at Fox. The network said at the time that there were “no plans” for Smollett to make an appearance, despite a negotiation to extend his option through the final run of episodes.Representatives for Smollett did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment. Fox and 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the show, declined to comment.Smollett had previously been written out of the final few episodes of Season 5 after Chicago prosecutors charged him with multiple counts of filing a false police report, though those charges were later dropped as part of a deal requiring him to perform community service and forfeit $10,000 bond.In an interview with TheWrap following the Season 5 finale, showrunner Brett Mahoney said no firm decision had been made regarding the possibility of Smollett returning at some point next season. “I think I just want what’s best for the show, so we’ll see what that is as we move forward,” he said.Also Read: Judge Orders That Jussie Smollett's Case File Be UnsealedEarlier this year, in a show of solidarity with Smollett, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and a number of the show’s other stars, delivered a letter to Fox and the show’s producers calling for the actor to be brought back to the show. Among the other names signed to the letter were Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker.“Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of ‘Empire,'” the group wrote.The letter continued, “We have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity.”Read original story ‘Empire’ Co-Creator Lee Daniels Denies Report Jussie Smollett May Return for Final Season At TheWrap
New texts released by the Chicago police show Smollett discussing drugs with the brothers who accused the "Empire" actor of paying them to stage an attack on him.
Less than a week after a state judge ordered the files in the Jussie Smollett criminal case unsealed, the Chicago Police today made public hundreds and hundreds of heavily redacted pages of investigation reports, gumshoe work and arrest documents, with promise of much more to come in the coming days. Contained in the selective disbursement […]
A Chicago judge ordered that Smollett’s case file be unsealed Thursday, making the records available to the public.“State’s Attorney Foxx is pleased to be able to provide the public with even greater transparency in this matter than was previously possible because of the sealing order,” the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a statement to TheWrap. “A review of the documents is currently underway and the State’s Attorney’s Office will release the documents related to this case through a FOIA production by June 3, 2019.”The charges against Smollett included an accusation that the “Empire” actor staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself and arranged for two brothers to carry it out. He denied the charges. Prosecutors abruptly dropped all charges against Smollett on March 26.Once the charges were dropped, the court approved Smollet’s lawyer’s request to seal the case, but it was unsealed Thursday at the request of The New York Times and news other organizations that argued for the need for transparency, the Times reported.The ruling by Judge Steven G. Watkins of the Circuit Court of Cook County may lead to some answers as to why the office dropped the charges.Fox has renewed “Empire” for its sixth and final season, and the renewal included an option to extend Smollett’s contract to continue playing Jamal Lyon throughout the remainder of the series. However, Fox said during last week’s upfront call that there were “no plans” for his character to return.Smollett’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, did not immediately respond to TheWraps’ request for comment.A reporter for CBS Chicago tweeted a photo of the judge’s order Thursday.pic.twitter.com/4GlvMwzpfT— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) May 23, 2019Read original story Judge Orders That Jussie Smollett’s Case File Be Unsealed At TheWrap