A lot of people, including us, were hoping that Jussie didn’t actually fake all of this. But earlier today, he turned himself in to the police and was arrested on suspicion of filing a false police report and charged with felony disorderly conduct following investigations that he, in fact, staged the attack against him.
Chicago prosecutors obtained text messages that Jussie reportedly sent to Abel Osundairo days before the attack. Furthermore, authorities said that the two men and Abel’s brother, Ola, met to discuss how to pull off the assault. Surveillance footage later revealed the brothers buying red hats (to imitate Trump’s MAGA hat) and ski masks, allegedly using money that Jussie had given them.
Although Jussie had previously denied the claims through a spokesperson, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson later confirmed that the Osundairo brothers were paid $3,500 to carry out the attack. Jussie’s motive was allegedly wanting more publicity because he was unsatisfied with his $65,000 per Empire episode salary.
“First, Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language. When that didn’t work, Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process,” Supt. Johnson said in a press conference. “This announcement today recognizes that Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Since the news broke, several personalities had condemned Jussie’s actions. Sen. Kamala Harris, who stood up to Jussie after the attack, said she was disappointed and that these false claims will make it harder for hate crime victims to come forward. Comedian Jaboukie Young-White also didn’t mince his words to criticize Jussie. Even Pres. Donald Trump reacted to the news (though he sounded more concerned about the MAGA people).
I saw Smollett speak about diversity and inclusion a week before this, on a panel moderated by @nischelleturner. He advocated for minorities/LGBTQ. If guilty, he hurts those communities and ability of real victims of hate crimes to come forward and be believed. Incomprehensible. https://t.co/giTCudbDzI
What upsets me about this Jussie situation is that people were genuinely worried about you man. And the things that you said happened could have led to some serious outcomes. People were prepared to fight for you bruh. Things coulda got ugly…… and you made it up.
This is just disappointing on Jussie’s part. Sen. Harris is right, this situation is dangerous for the LGBTQ+ and Black communities who are experiencing hate crimes regularly. We hope that the whole truth will come out and that this doesn’t happen again.