So, three weeks ago on January 29th, Jussie Smollett called the police to report that he’d been attacked. According to what was first reported, it was a racially motivated attack as well as political and homophobic. Fair enough, that’s not unheard of.
On that same night, I saw many people questioning the story, but given that it was developing and that I have no real affinity for Jussie, I felt bad for him and I kept it moving. I stopped watching Empire a long time ago (heck, I just remembered that I used to post recaps for it!) and haven’t even so much as seen a picture of him since. So, I was like, ‘well, that’s a shame’ and went about my business.
Next thing I know, it’s being reported that he went ahead with a concert two days later (a bit iffy, but fine, I can buy that he was standing up to the haters). It’s what he said during this concert that took me from sympathetic indifference to is this dude okay?
I’m the gay Tupac
1. Tupac was shot dead
2. Tupac did talk a lot about real issues and things that people didn’t necessarily focus on, but…
3. He’s dead.
What do you mean that you’re the gay Tupac? Why bring Tupac into this? Jussie, are you okay?
That nonsense was followed by ‘I fought the fuck back’ which I couldn’t even make sense of. You’re the Gay Tupac and you fought back. Was he trying to start hashtags? #gaytupac #iftfback
Even after that weird statement, I didn’t really dive deeper until his GMA interview, which I didn’t even watch until a few days ago. Just the quotes were enough to make it seem off. Watching it after the developments was even more disturbing.
Anyway, onto the interview…some quotes (taken from Daily Fail).
‘You do such a disservice when you lie about stuff like this.’
‘He says, “This MAGA country n****!” and punches me right in the face. So I punch his a** back. We end up tussling by the stairs, fighting, fighting, fighting…and then it just stopped.’
‘I looked down and I noticed a rope around my neck and I started screaming, “There’s a f****** rope around my neck!”
‘It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot more. That says a lot about the place that we are at in the country right now.’
‘I want a little gay boy who might watch this to see that I fought the f*** back. They ran off,’ I didn’t.’
‘I still want to believe there’s something called justice.’
‘I’ve heard that it was a date gone bad which I so resent that narrative. I’m not going to go out to get a tuna sandwich and a salad to meet somebody. That’s ridiculous and offensive.
‘They called me a f****t. I don’t need to add anything like that. I don’t need to make MAGA hat the cherry on the top of some racist sundae.’
‘I will never be the man that this did not happen to… I am forever changed
The interview was an interesting watch. It wasn’t very convincing. In parts he’s laughing, in parts he was indignant, but not in a way that seemed genuine. It was all over the place.
My favorite part was where he boldly defended his decision to go to Subway at 2am. Make no mistake, it was reckless and stupid. I say this as someone who does late night runs at the store – not even I would leave my house at that time to get anything, and I’m not famous and currently receiving threats.
Which, by the way…
Anyway, back to the interview and one thing I found strange was his version of what went down. Apparently, the attackers called out ‘EMPIRE!’ and he doesn’t answer to that.
1. If these racist, homophobic people know enough about you to be near your home, they’d surely know your name? Or your characters name at least?
2. Again, this seems like an odd detail to bring up in an interview. To the police, yes. In an interview…
The next part that raised eyebrows. He mentioned calling his manager in Australia – establishing that someone overheard the attack. So, he took his phone out to make the call right? Unfortunately, in the interview, he says his phone fell out of his pocket while he was fighting back and when he picked it up, his manager was still on his phone.
See now, what he should have said was that his phone was knocked out of his hand. Which it would have been had he really been seriously jumped. Unless he was using a headset – but I think it’s safe to say he didn’t think of that.
The next part of the interview that didn’t really do it for me was when he was asked about the motive.
“I come really, really hard against 45. I come really, really hard against his administration, and I don’t hold my tongue.”
1. Shuuuuut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. HOLD YOUR DAMN TONGUE! Who has seen all of this anti-Trump activism of yours until now? Hardly anyone. Trump wasn’t even aware of it. No one was!
2. Where were his people and why did they allow him to answer this question?
There was also the part about the noose and bleach which was even more bizarre. He didn’t realise there was bleach on him until he got back to his apartment…I…I can’t even follow all of it anymore.
It’s like a mishmash of an Empire and Supernatural episode. Just a hot mess all around.
Unfortunately for him, the day after this interview, two Nigerian brothers that he knows personally were arrested in relation to the attack.
Once again, when he commented on that he said that he felt sympathy for them. Uh… What?
They were released without charge two days later after singing like damn canaries and the rest, as they say, is history.
Of course, now we all know that he made calls to them before and after the attack hence why he handed over incomplete call logs to the police when they wanted them.
During the interview he had this to say:
I‘m sorry, but I’m not going to do that, I have private pictures and videos and numbers. My partner’s number, my family’s numbers, my castmates’ numbers, my friends’ numbers, my private emails, my songs.”
Yeah, but…you called the police. You told them you were on the phone. You told them your manager could corroborate your story because you were on the phone to him! You brought up the phone!
You pointed out the camera during a walk through. The police merely thought you were trying to do their job for them. You chose to keep a ‘noose’ around your neck to ‘preserve evidence’.
Yet, your phone was off limits?
The story gets crazier and crazier but now obviously he’s been arrested for filing a false police report.
- He also paid the brothers with a personal check for $3500. They say it was to stage the attack
- He says it was for training and a music video and curiously, he backdated the check to 23rd Jan.
- There’s footage of the brothers buying supplies they say he instructed them to buy
- Apparently footage of them rehearsing the attack exists.
- Jussie supposedly has a drug problem
- He claims that he’s innocent
- He’s been axed from the last two episodes of EMPIRE
It seems like he’s guilty.
….Yet, somehow, I feel like there is something missing from this story. It doesn’t make any sense. Right now the motive is money, but that doesn’t even make sense to me. Maybe he has a martyr complex. I don’t know.
What I do know that it’s sad that he’s thrown his career away over something so fucking stupid. Personal checks? Using your personal cell phone? Watching a basic police procedural show could have kept the scent off him for a while longer.