Chicago police now have evidence that Jussie Smollett staged his ‘assault’


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I don’t even know where to start or pick up on this Jussie Smollett case. I’m going to largely refrain from editorializing, but I’ll just say this: even if the Chicago PD’s theories about this case pan out in the long-term, I still believe that the leaking and public victim-blaming from the police was completely unnecessary, and counterproductive for a police force which should – theoretically, at least – want and encourage victims of crimes to come forward and tell their stories. The Chicago police arrested two Nigerian brothers in connection with the assault on Jussie Smollett. The brothers worked as extras on Empire. They were released shortly after they were arrested.

Two brothers, who were arrested in the Jan. 29 apparent hate attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett, have been released.

“Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging,” Chicago Police Department Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter Friday evening.

“Detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” Guglielmi added. A spokeswoman previously told PEOPLE the pair was arrested Wednesday evening. Because they were not been charged, police withheld from identifying information about them. The police spokeswoman also confirmed the suspects are the same people as those previously identified as persons of interest. An attorney for the men, Gloria Schmidt, told CBS Chicago on Thursday that the men know Smollett from working on Empire and go to the same gym on occasion.

[From People]

The brothers are black Africans, and of course TMZ is basically creating a chart of how Jussie repeatedly said that his attackers were white, racist MAGA-spouting dumbasses. TMZ also spoke to people involved with Empire and the brothers are not known for being homophobic, racist or Trump-supporting. They apparently love Obama. The brothers are now lawyered up, and their lawyer is making it sound like the brothers might have “flipped” on Jussie. According to sources, the Nigerian brothers told cops that they purchased the rope used in assault on Jussie. And now this is happening:

Jussie Smollett has turned from a presumed victim to suspect in the criminal investigation into the alleged racist, homophobic attack, and sources say there is mounting evidence the 2 brothers who were arrested and subsequently released were acting at Jussie’s behest and reportedly paid.

Our sources say the brothers — both of whom worked on the “Empire” set — “completely cooperated” with Chicago cops during their interrogation over the last few days. One law enforcement source tells TMZ at least one of the brothers turned over his phone and there is a call between him and Jussie in the vicinity of the “attack,” but before it happened. CNN is reporting the brothers purchased what looks like the rope Jussie had around his neck at a Chicago Ace Hardware store. CNN is also citing law enforcement sources saying Jussie paid the brothers to orchestrate the phony assault.

Various sources in the Chicago PD have told TMZ almost from the beginning there was wide sentiment Jussie’s version of events were false, despite the party line that he was the victim of a crime. As we told you … the Nigerian brothers never fit the profile of Jussie’s alleged attackers, even when they were arrested for battery. Not only are they not white — which contradicts Smollett’s claims from the beginning — but “Empire” cast and crew sources tell us they’re very close to Jussie … and they’re pro-LGBTQ and anti-Trump too.

Chicago PD released Abel and Ola late Friday night due to “new evidence” gathered from their interrogation … and said they’re no longer suspects.

Jussie’s lawyer just responded with this … “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

[From TMZ]

Before all of this broke, Jussie has hired a lawyer. He hired Michael Monico, a criminal defense attorney who recently defended Michael Cohen. He’s going to need this guy because if the cops have evidence that he staged the assault, then he will absolutely be charged with filing a false police report, at the very least.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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220 Responses to “Chicago police now have evidence that Jussie Smollett staged his ‘assault’”

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  1. Devon says:

    This is really bad! Lot’s of people that are abused for real will now have to go through hell to prove what happened.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Victims already go through hell to prove that they are being truthful,what did YOU say to them,do to provoke them,were you,drunk/high,what were you wearing,why were you there,etc.This man has further harmed real victims of all types of crimes.

    • Lucy2 says:

      That’s what’s really upsetting me with this situation right now. If it turns out to be true, he just did so much damage to people who are actual victims. SO much damage.

      • Christy says:

        This guy seemed fishy from the start. I get not wanting to “not believe” potential victims, but he’s the poster boy for why this happens (of course, he isn’t officially guilty of anything so we’ll see what happens!). Hate that this s@@t make it harder for actual victims.

      • Svea says:

        His performance on Good Morning America revealed him to be quite a terrible actor. Oh the crocodile tears!

    • wendywoo says:

      The two things I can’t get past is that he identified the attackers as white and American.

      Even if he didn’t see their faces, the Nigerian accent is PRETTY UNIQUE.

      The next question is WHYYYYYYYY?

    • Kendra says:

      This proves that we need to not be emotional about these things. Victims should be belived but not get angry about it, expecially about the people who are accused. We really don’t have facts and the reporting that is done is often just different publicity campaigns manipulating us. We can offer sympathy for people who appear to victims without treating the other side with hate. Luckily here there was no actual person who was blamed for this.

  2. Lea says:

    Why did he do that ??? He was not written off the show, what outcome could he possibly expect ?
    And also, this was extremely poorly planned. If you pull that kind of stunt at least plan it perfectly beforehand. Damn.

    • LadyT says:

      He got lots of attention—from politicians tweeting to front page news. Outpouring of sympathy, support and praise. He got to go on GMA and spend time airing his views and agenda. He cried over how he had inspired little gay boys by fighting back with his attackers. He got to imply any doubting meant racism. He got to take a swipe at something he hates on an enormous stage. I think he just wanted a really big voice. As for it being stupid to commit this or any crime, thinking they can pull it off? That’s just what criminals do- everywhere everyday thinking they are the one smart enough to pull it off.

      • B n A fan says:

        Did you see how Robin was looking it him, I bet she did not believe his story, and then all that 😢, I had to turn the channel. Now he lost all credibility and we will be hearing from the maga supporters that all hate crimes are fake news. IMO, he should just tell the truth and get help.

    • Mia4s says:

      There will be an explanation, but I don’t expect it to be one that will make any sense. I think the past few years especially have taught us that the entertainment industry attracts a lot of narcissists, a lot of really emotionally unhealthy and/or sick people, and often not the smartest people. In combination it’s proven to be a pretty big mess.

      Just remember to keep believing victims. This was bizarre and FAR from normal.

    • Ladychef83 says:

      The story didn’t add up from the very beginning. What person, Black or White, is going to get attacked, have a noose put around their neck, and then leave it on when the attack is over. Leave it on as they walk home, and leave it on as they sit in their home waiting for the police. I don’t care who you are, that noose would be like hands around your neck and it would be the first thing I took off in a fit of fear and rage. Yes, I would have brought it home with me when I called the cops. It’s not necessary to wear it till they get there. It’s evidence. If there are fingerprints to pull from it they will be able to do it. Plain and simple. All of this is pretty awful. He must really think cops/detectives are dumb, they aren’t, after years on the job they have a sixth sense about this stuff. When things just don’t add up they figure it out pretty quick. Jussie’s career is over, he will forever be the boy who cried wolf.

      • AG-UK says:

        @Ladychef83 I didn’t mean to laugh but visualised your comments leaving it on walking home and sitting in your house with it on!! Beggars belief!! I want to believe him but the part he flew from NY to a city of 6m and went to a Subway how would they know where he was? Like flying into JFK and going to Poppeyes in W 23rd unless someone knows before hand.
        It’s all very STRANGE AND WEIRD!

      • Renee says:

        well, now everyone here is saying his story didn’t make sense after saying for weeks it made total sense. I knew something was off from the very first day, and it wasn’t just the noose part, but I didn’t dare say anything on this board bc everyone was like “omg, you’re racist! you’re a homophobe! why can’t you just believe his story??” if you dared to ask a question.

      • Mariposa says:

        I believed his story, but I will say I couldn’t work out how anyone could have tracked him from the airport, but I thought they probably knows where he was living. I do agree that the police probably did have strong suspicions from the start that something wasn’t quite right.

        I was watching the Ted Bundy tapes on the weekend and realised that all three times Ted was caught it was by traffic cops! I.e. trained cops who know when something looks a little off.

      • Svea says:

        Did you see that little dinky piece of string that was supposed to be the ”noose”? (Ugh that word.) This is what aroused my suspicions. Any racist bastard would know that a noose is made from rope. It is as though the Nigerians got to the hardware store with their Jussi-ordered shopping list, which included “rope,” yet they found some twine instead and figured, this will do.

      • Molly8047 says:

        Yes I’ve started more than a few responses that this story, especially to anyone from Chicago, was obviously fake from the beginning but then I discarded not feeling like getting screamed at….I used to enjoy the comments on this site as much as the stories it’s quite a loss.

    • Talie says:

      I was thinking about this too…I mean, what is the motivation here?

      Could he be mentally ill?

      • Ladychef83 says:

        I think he will use that excuse for sure, and probably check himself into rehab. I highly doubt he is anything other that narcissistic, self-entitled and stupid. The damage control his people roll out will be predictable.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        To derail his own career in such a big way, I would have to assume so.

      • Jen says:

        I honestly don’t even want to bring that into this. Let’s be honest, if some right winger had said he was attacked by liberals, we wouldn’t be wondering if mental illness was in play. If this is all true, this was a sick, narcissistic ploy for more of the spotlight. Similar to where everyone landed with Kanye-being mentally ill does not make you do something so foolish, so harmful and so selfish.

      • Exactly, @ Jen….someone said that they are angry that now the trumpets will have fuel for their anger. I embarrassed to say that I let this messy bs fuel mine for several days. However, I do not care what a victim’s political beliefs are…verbal, emotional and physical abuse is ALWAYS wrong.

    • isabelle says:

      Wonder if it was to help boost ratings for Empire which have fallen and his new album? His new album comes out in March.

      • Kathy says:

        That pinned tweet is from last year; the album came out March 2, 2018. Just correcting this because I’ve seen an explosion of right-wing claims that it was for his “forthcoming” album. Whatever the reason ends up being, that one doesn’t fit.

  3. Beth says:

    Things like this are part of the reason it’s so hard for real victims to get people to believe them. If this attack ends up being complete BS set up by him, he should be ashamed of himself, and he’s ruined his own career

  4. Chef Grace says:

    I just can’t. I feel like apologizing for some odd reason.
    I have been trying to find some reason why Jusse would do this to himself.
    I honestly don’t believe NOW he is a victim of a hate crime but possibly a perpetrator of one. Why would he do this?
    Fame and fortune? Well he will find out real quick how fast this can flip on him.
    Whatever the outcome, it wasn’t worth it. This will give the Trumpettes more fuel for their hate.

  5. Shrute’s beet farm says:

    He’s made it infinitely more difficult for real victims to be believed and have their cases pursued to the fullest extent. He’s also made a jackass of people like me, who defended him extensively. I really, really wish he hadn’t done this.

    • Darla says:

      You’re not a jackass. You have empathy for other human beings. When someone tells you they’ve been hurt, you should believe them, until you have very good reason not to. You should not feel bad about being a good person.

      I did not believe him and that’s why this is my first comment on this story here. But I have been surrounded by liars my whole life and I am extremely cynical…and maybe have an almost sixth sense for when something stinks. What I know; false reports of hate crimes, just like false rape claims, are very rare. Most are true. That matters. Hate crimes have risen since Trump. That matters.

      I will still believe nearly every claim, unless something doesn’t feel right, like here, in which case I will keep my mouth shut in case I am wrong. But I have nothing but admiration for those who believed him and expressed empathy. That’s what healthy people should do.

      • Tweetime says:

        I have a lot of respect for your comment here, Darla. Thank you.

      • Pilotinspektor says:

        I usually don’t comment but also wanted to add my respect for your comment Darla. Beautifully put! I believed him, I am not good with intuition or detecting lies. This is why I choose to believe victims, because statistically it just makes sense to me. Interesting to hear from a very different perspective whllich nonetheless arrives at the same practical handling of such things.

      • LahdidahBaby says:

        Darla, you are honest, your post is courageous, and as far as I’m concerned you are a damned decent human being.

      • Tatu says:

        @Darla Great Great post

        I usually don’t comment but Just wanted to say that I have the utmost respect and esteem for you and your way of seeing thing and your thinking. I’m also very realistic and somewhat (*healthily*) cynical, because of my job (human rights etc) and the place I flew from (full of sociopaths, NPD ^^…), but I’ll never stop believing victims claims unless the contrary is proved and I also have the greatest admiration for people who are so naturally empathetic. We need more of you, people.
        Don’t let narcissists or sociopath mess with your heads, make you doubt of your values or become cold. That’s exactly their aim in fact!

        For Shrute’s: please don’t regret or be ashamed of anything, your heart and head are in the right places. You can be proud in fact.

        Edit: just saw the other posters responses and it warms my heart :)

    • Kebbie says:

      The right thing to do was believe him because he said it happened. It costs you nothing to believe a victim. The people who called him a liar from the get-go may be jumping up and down and screaming “I told you so!” But really what does it say about them? To be happy to be right that he lied about it is a special kind of crazy, IMO.

      If your default is to believe victims, you’ll be right far more often than not. The people who always doubt victims don’t admit it when they’re wrong, they just gloat when they’re right. They’re the jackasses, not you.

      • Tessy says:

        Certainly believe victims if their story makes sense. His didn’t. People who saw through it and said something were vilified and called racist, how do you think they felt about that. If the default is to believe victims even if their story doesn’t make sense, there will be a lot more innocent people in jail than there is now.

    • Swack says:

      I believed him also and will believe victims until proven different. Him – not so much anymore.

    • lsb says:

      SBF and Darla,

      I want to second Darla’s comment and I want to commend both of you. Being kind, empathetic and trusting are not and should not be seen as weaknesses or failings. Fault those producing fallacious sob-stories to tug at people’s heart-strings, not those who believed them. I have lived this same experience – with my mother. She is lovely, kind, trusting, generous – the kind of person that people in trouble come to, sometimes for no reason but to know they will have an audience – and I want to shake her for it sometimes to say “stop being so gullible; you’ve been had”. And that makes me angry because, while I hate that people do pull a fast one on my mum, I want a world where there are more people her, not more people like the crooks who pull a fast one NOR people like me who are suspicious of heart-tugging stories until proven true. Remain your trusting self – the world needs people like you.

  6. Neha says:

    This is why it was so frustrating that when people thought this was staged, everyone would respond with “RACIST! HOMOPHOBE!”. No, being a liberal doesn’t mean that you have to lose your sense of logic and basic intelligence and can’t be hesitant to believe a story that was always bizarre and OTT from the beginning. And “why would he lie”? People lie for all sorts of reasons, whether it’s attention, political reasons, career stuff, etc. Hopefully, this turn of events allows people to have less of a black and white view of things in the future.

    • Franny Days says:

      I know commenters were saying, hey isn’t it a little weird people were out at 2 am in the coldest day in over ten years in this particular area of Chicago where a crime like this is kind of unlikely carrying around bleach and a noose and all of a sudden happened to run into Jussie and the commenters were kind of bashed for their opinions. I didn’t say anything because I knew the truth would come out one way or another and there was still a chance he was a victim. Is there anything wrong with pointing out holes in a story that just don’t make a lot of sense especially on a gossip site? I don’t know. I know we should always believe the victim but this is a tough one. I don’t blame the police as much as the media who ran rampant. Jussie did a horrible thing to real victims. And if he was the one who sent himself the hate letter in the mail he could be in a lot of trouble. This makes it harder for real victims to be believed and honestly makes other people feel more justified in saying they could be liars which doesn’t help anything.

      • Kebbie says:

        There’s a way to say those things without victim blaming or calling him a liar. “Why was he out at 2 am?” Sounds awfully close to “why was she wearing such a short skirt?” Being out at 2 am could be explained away anyways, he just got off a flight and was hungry.

        No one thought the perpetrators were just randomly walking around with bleach and a noose and happened upon Jussie and decided to attack him. The theory was always that he was specifically targeted. So maybe just the dumb ideas were rejected?

        My issue was always that in the Venn diagram of people who know Jussie, know he’s on empire, and know he’s gay, and the people who would be walking around looking to commit a hate crime, there would be very little overlap. You’d be in one group or the other, not both. I expressed that multiple times here and no one objected. So like I said, maybe just poorly thought out questioning was objected to.

      • Carmen says:

        “Why was he out at 2 am?” Sounds awfully close to “why was she wearing such a short skirt?”

        I think it’s all in the context. It’s not being out at 2 a.m., it’s being out alone at 2 a.m. without any security, after having supposedly received death threats. It flies in the face of all common sense.

      • Kebbie says:

        He’s a big strong 30 something year old guy, I’m not at all surprised that he would take the “I don’t need security. I can handle it myself” approach. I mean he basically said exactly that at his concert when he said “I fought the f*** back!”

        If the letter was even real (which I doubt now) it was a single letter, right? He probably got similar abuse 24/7 online. I would understand not wanting to completely alter his life, especially if he viewed that as them somehow winning by frightening him.

        There are things that didn’t add up in his story, but him being out at 2 am is literally the last on the list.

      • Steph says:

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with poking holes in a story or waiting for actual proof before believing someone. People can be kind and sympathetic without blindly believing somebody. And the reason I think that is important not to do so is because blindly believing “all victims” before any type of proof is provided can ruin the life of the accused. So in rushing to believe anyone without any proof, one can actually become a perpetrator against the innocent. Not only that it also helps spread real hate. In this day and age of immediate information really think we all need to take a step back and breathe sometimes.

      • Snow Bird says:

        I think people were questioning why he was out at 2am to get Subway during a polar vortex, rather than just questioning why he was out at 2am. I also think people wondered why he went to Subway alone instead of having someone get it for him. The idea of the assault wasn’t fishy at all, we all know these kind of horrible crimes happen. I think it was more the details were kind of weird. I agree with you that believing a victim should be the default and no one should ever feel guilty or duped for that.

      • Goldie says:

        I agree @kebbie. I had mixed feelings about this case. On the one hand, there may have been some genuine inconsistencies in Jussie’s story, but it also seemed as if some people were grasping at straws to find any reason to discredit him. For instance, several people were pointing out that bleach freezes at 19 degrees, and it was colder than that in Chicago on the night of his alleged assault. Therefore, he must have been lying, right?
        The problem with that theory is that, while 19 degrees may be the freezing point for bleach, that doesn’t mean that the bleach would immediately freeze. For instance, we all know that water freezes at 32°F. But if you put a bottle of water into your freezer, it probably won’t immediately turn into ice. It takes time, depending on the size of the bottle etc. If the bleach was only exposed to the cold for a brief period, it would not necessarily freeze.

        According to the latest reports, the brothers admitted to the police that they did in fact pour bleach on Jussie. So even if the assault was staged, the detail about the bleach was true.
        So while I think it’s OK to question aspects of a victim’s story, people have to be careful to not rush to judgement too quickly.

      • Montrealaise says:

        My interpretation of your question is not “what was he doing outside at 2 a.m.” but rather, what were the alleged attackers doing out at 2 a.m. If two guys decided to go out trolling for a victim they could attack, would they do it in the middle of the night on a bitterly cold evening when very few, if any, people would be outside?

  7. JustSayin' says:

    Is this part of his humiliation ritual that tinhats keep talking about? Because that’s the only way any of this makes sense.
    Why would he do this? And so poorly? Surely he must have known the truth would come out.
    How bizarre.

    • Alissa says:

      I’m guessing he would do this because his career wasn’t really going anywhere: he wasn’t a household name, I don’t personally know anyone who is still watching Empire, and if he had gotten away with it he would have gotten a LOT of opportunities. and everyone knows his name now.

      • Beth says:

        I’d never heard of him or the show he’s on until the news about the attack was on the news. I’m willing to bet he did this for attention and opportunities, but it definitely didn’t end up going his way, and most likely he just ended up flushing any chances for his career down the toilet

      • LadyT says:

        I got the distinct impression that his motivation was about political beliefs and social issues, not so much about his career per se.

      • Alissa says:

        @LadyT that would make sense except all he did was bolster the other side’s argument, unfortunately.

      • LadyT says:

        His plan as a sympathetic victim leading the fight didn’t go as he envisioned for sure. Such a grandiose scheme will never make sense to most people.

    • Carmen says:

      Evidently he didn’t think the truth would come out, unless his motive for doing this was to instantly torpedo his career. He honestly believed he would get away with this.

  8. B n A fan says:

    His story did not pass the smell to me from day one. I asked all my friends what they think about the story and everyone said that something happened to him but were doubtful if it went down the way it was reported, btw they are all black friends.

    My reason for boubting him was the timeline. 1) he received hate and threatening letter at work, Fox TV, they offered him protection and he refused to take it. 2) he went out at 2am walking by himself knowing there was a physical threat against him. 3) after the attack he kept the rope around his neck even though he said he was reluctant to call the cop, why keep it on his person. 4) when the cop showed up he refused to go to the hospital with them, he could have taken a screen shot of his phone for at least the last 24 hours without handing over the phone. Summary, the story was full of holes IMO. I got flack from some people here for not
    following the crowd, I KNOW Kaiser is not going to put this through, but that’s ok.

    • Elena says:

      Also anything they poured on him would freeze that night at that temperature. And I agree, I would not go out by myself at 2 AM if I had received death threats.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Does bleach freeze though?

      • Snow Bird says:

        M.A.F. Bleach does freeze, but if it was being kept in someone’s coat or their pocket and close to their body it would be insulated and wouldn’t freeze as quickly as some were speculating. If it was poured on his skin and got into his eyes/nose/mouth it would have done damage. I’m thinking they made sure it just got on his jacket because of that.

      • Carmen says:

        Bleach freezes at 18°F. The outside temperature that night was 20° below zero.

    • B n A fan says:

      Thanks Kaiser.

    • Stronger says:

      - And manage to hold on to his phone and his sandwich while under attack by 2 guys
      - And have you seen those guys? How the hell did 2 burly bodybuilders violently attack you and and you only have a little scratch under your eye?
      I could go on but you see my point. This story had holes from the get go but people had no choice but to ignore the obvious irregularities because they are told the MUST believe everything.

    • Beth says:

      I felt a little guilty about not 100% believing him from the start, but you’re so right about the story being full of holes. Something right away that caught my suspicious attention was how through the attack, he never lost his sandwich and no damage was done to it. I love Subway, but if I was getting death threats, I wouldn’t go out late at night in the freezing cold, all alone to get a sandwich, and if I was violently attacked with bleach and a rope was put around my neck, I probably would’ve dropped or thrown my sub and phone while panicking

      • Snow Bird says:

        Darla, same. I only asked my best friend how she felt about the case, but other than that I kept my skeptism mostly to myself. Trumpsters are on Twitter calling out every single liberal blue check who commented on the story. Even people just wishing Jussie well or sending prayers. As if being a considerate person means they are some leftist hypocrite. I think it’s ok to be skeptical and I do agree that some people were pounced on for voicing any skeptism, but it’s always best to err on the side of believing victims initially (obviously someone who sets up a hoax isn’t a victim).

    • Alissa says:

      I agree that it didn’t pass the smell test. this is why I’m hesitant to immediately believe all claims all the time – I understand the impulse and reasoning behind “believe all victims” but it’s not the best tactic all the time.

      at the very least, you shouldn’t be called a racist or homophobe for having legitimate questions.

      • Darla says:

        Well, like I always say, shutting up is free. I didn’t believe him but never put one word on the internet about it. Because I’m not perfect. So when I thought about saying something while I was reading comments, I said to myself; you don’t know crap, and hey, shutting up is free. The world didn’t need to hear from me.

        How about don’t raise questions, legit or otherwise, and let the police do their jobs? Now, if it is a case where police behavior is problematic, that is different. Otherwise, I like to zip it.

      • B n A fan says:

        Darla, if everyone kept their beliefs to themselves on a chat site this would not be a gossip blog. You don’t have to be right or wrong, it’s just your opinion to bounce ideas off each other’s. I’m never afraid to give my opinion because it’s only an opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I was given flack from some even when I gave my reasons for my opinion, but it’s all right with me.

      • Darla says:

        That’s true B n A. For me personally, this wasn’t along the lines of; were justin and jen really married? This was too serious with the potential to hurt too many. I don’t ever want to end up being an unwitting tool of the daily caller. I prefer to keep my own counsel rather than engage in what would be pure speculation no matter how you cut it.

      • Steph says:

        Darla- this was my approach as well. I didn’t say a damn thing because it didn’t seem real but I didn’t want to put it out there on the Internet because what do I know? I am mostly replying because I love you’re saying about shutting up. I am definitely going to use that to remind myself to keep my big mouth shut sometimes!

    • isabelle says:

      I’m bi-racial. My family had crosses burned in their yards. I’ve seen my Dad as recent as 20 years ago kicked out of a shop because of his race. All that to say my family knows the power of the past and what has happened in America. However when this story came out I sided eye it. POC were doubting this story, it wasn’t just the redheads,

      Racism presents itself very differently in the time of social media & when your action can go viral in minutes. It has because more “polite” when practiced in small group or personally. Also passive agressively. People who openly participate in it (alt-right as example) tend to do it at a group level. Not just at a group level but when a LOT of people are with them. So what happened according to Jussie is not only rare now but don’t fit in with the narrative of modern ways of implementing it.

      • Wow says:

        Isabel, I’m also black and neither myself nor my friends or family believed this. Its easier to believe things like this when you aren’t on the receiving end and understand the current racism style based on experience. I mean, there is a portion of Georgia we don’t dare drive through and we are well aware of which town here in Oklahoma is still a Klan stronghold so we avoid it.

        I can’t get on board with believe all victims. Unfortunately, I live in a community disproportionally accused of crimes they didn’t do, are considered guilty by accusation.

        If it smells wrong, looks wrong and makes no sense…. its probably best to not vehemently defend it. I’m not saying automatically assume its a lie, but don’t go out of your way to defend things or people when the story stinks. I saw some real nasty things said to people who had reasonable and obviously valid questions about this situation because of the believe everything stuff.

        Its a fine line to tread. I stayed quiet and my opinion was I’ll wait for the investigation because based on my experience as a black woman, in the south…. this didn’t add up.

        All blindly following this did was make a lot of people look bad and have to backtrack. There are PLENTY of hate crimes to shine a spotlight on for awareness. Why popularize the one that is obviously a fake? So much influence was put into this. Now what next time?

    • DSW says:

      I had my doubts, but I didn’t voice them here, because I thought it would get flak for it as well. I doubted the story for a lot of same reasons mentioned. Additionally, Mr. Smollett’s refusal to hand over his phone made me wonder if perhaps there was evidence on it. I thought perhaps the attack could have been the result of, say, a drug deal gone bad, and he had been in contact with his attackers prior to the incident. The surveillance footage of the “persons of interest” didn’t add up for me either. I hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way, but the two men in the footage didn’t look like two white men to me. Finally, when Mr. Smollett was interviewed by Robin Roberts, he kept looking sideways as he was answering questions. People often do that when they lie. His answers weren’t exactly straightforward either.

  9. Karla says:

    So did he send that hate mail to himself? Isn’t that a federal crime? I

    • Nicegirl says:

      @Karla, I sure hope not.

    • Mia4s says:

      I’m really wondering about this. His initially story raised some doubts for me, it wasn’t until I saw/heard about these letters that I put those aside. Stalkers often fixated on medium, mid-level stars, not just the superstars. This also explained why they knew it was him on a dark street when everyone was bundled up against the cold (targeting). So I set my doubts aside….until they flared up something awful a short time later.

      So my guess is unfortunately yes, this may have been part of the plan. It’s absolutely mind-blowing.

    • isabelle says:

      @Nicegirl if he lied he deserves to be punished as harsh as possible.

      Innocent people could have be charged. Would you be OK if a white person lied and made up a story about black people attacking them? This has happened many times in America and it is dangerous when people lie about racially motivated crimes. Innocent people can be charged and it breaks down race relations further with long consequences of division. It has even led to deaths of innocent people in similar cases.

      • BeanieBean says:

        No, someone doesn’t deserve to be punished as harshly as possible for lying. That’s part of a judge’s job, to weigh all the facts & develop a suitable punishment, emphasis on ‘suitable’.

      • Wow says:

        I truly believe if you are caught lying about a crime you should get the punishment that crime carries.

        How many black men were released last year for crimes they didn’t commit? Many after lifetimes. Sorry, but accusing black people for crimes they didn’t commit is still too common to not be punishing people as harshly as possible. People can die or be imprisoned by this stuff. A slap on the wrist is not enough of a deterrent.

      • isabelle says:

        wow….my wishes would be that no one is falsely accused of a crime. POC are not only falsely accused bu tif they are guilty….they save harsher sentences than their counterparts. It isn’t just being falsely accused being a problem in the black community is also having to save very harsh sentences compared to white people. Even then, our justice system is filled with people falsely accused, serving harsh sentences for petty crimes but…..it in no way does it justify Jussie’s basically lying with the possibility of innocent people being charged. He could have got anyone in trouble since the perpetrators supposedly were wearing masks.

    • Kebbie says:

      I’m guessing he’s definitely responsible for the letter, whether he sent it or paid someone else to. It was sent from Bedford Park, which is less than 20 miles from his place.

  10. Co says:

    What a P O S. He is sick. And there is no victim-blaming if there is no victim, so stop complaining about how the police botched this and victim-blamed him. It’s obvious they had legit doubts from the beginning.

    • C says:

      I totally agree with you. It’s no victim-blaming if he lied about the attack. And if it’s true, this POS will make difficult for real victims to come forward.

    • Joy says:

      Yeah pretty much this. He should have waited until the weather was better. These kinds of things are less likely during a frigid polar vortex. And for the undue stress he’s now putting on REAL victims, he needs to cancelled. We need to stop coddling and making excuses. What he did was just awful.

    • Renee says:

      I didn’t understand Kaiser’s victim blaming part in the article. The official police statements have never victim blamed, they were still calling him a victim up until yesterday. They have been very careful in the wording in their statements knowing how this was a very sensitive case. I’m sure they had their doubts and maybe it was strategic in a way bc if he was still viewed as the victim, Jussie would keep talking and go on talk shows and keep messing up like how he did on GMA.

  11. Jenns says:

    How in earth did he ever think he would get away with this?

    I never bought this story. It sounded too concocted. But I thought it was a possible meet up gone bad.

    • Carmen says:

      That’s exactly what I and the great majority of my friends thought. We didn’t buy his story from day one. BTW we are all black.

  12. please be kind says:

    I’m holding out hope that maybe Jussie is being framed or something, I still believe him but it is getting hard.

    • Vv says:

      i’m with you.
      for some reason i’m having a hard time believing someone would stage something this terrible… idk…
      it’s weird because if we’re hoping it’s true then we’re hoping that something really terrible happened to this man, but then finding out that it’s really fake would actually have other terrible consequences for a lot of other people.
      this is just a very bad situation any way you look at it

    • Emily says:

      I agree. This whole story is so strange no matter what and we also live in very strange times. I’m withholding judgement until we get more information.

    • Sparkly says:

      This is what I’m wondering. Making something up like this would be career suicide. Anyone knows that. Did these guys set him up?

      • Vv says:

        maybe…i mean maybe the two guys picked up were also innocent but got picked up and pressured by police and they made up something that went with the story they caught the police trying to sell.

        or i might have watched too much “making a murderer”

  13. Original T.C. says:

    I don’t get his motivation for doing this. If he wanted a higher public profile, he could just be a crusader for the Black LBGTQ community. Lead rallies or write op-Ed’s in News Papers against the Trump administration targeting the LBGTQ community. He would have to have had a screw loose to stage this or be just a complete idiot that it would work. I will wait for more information from the PD.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      He obviously didn’t want to put in the work and actually be a true advocate. In his narcissist mind, this was a much faster and easier way to get attention.

    • JinnyBye says:

      He has been very active in politics and activism, but he wasn’t nearly famous enough to get any real attention for that. He’s only really known to Empire fans, and even then it’s not like he’s some big fan favourite.

      He obviously wanted a much larger platform. As stupid as this was, it did get him that platform, so his motivation is pretty obvious I think.

  14. Nev says:

    As a black and gay man I can’t. He must have a martyr complex. He needs professional help. Stunning.

    • C says:

      Well said!

    • cannibell says:

      This. And as a Jewish woman who cringes whenever a Jew commits some type of crime, I can imagine what you must be feeling right now. So I’m gonna step up and tell you that no decent person is going to paint you with that brush if what’s reported turns out to be true. { }

    • isabelle says:

      Nev, did you beleive him from the start? The story was a bit suspicious but with Americas history it could have been true. Just curious as if you fully believed him or not.

      • Nev says:

        I did believe and felt so awful about it. But when I saw him then boasting at his performance about being the GayTupac I side-eyed that and then all the other holes started to show up in the story.

      • isabelle says:

        Sorry Nev….the really awful part…there has been a lot of true hate crimes in the last two years since Trump has risen. Charlottesville car hit and run as an example. Yet, this will overshadow the reality of the uptick of recent hate crimes by the alt-right. As is Smollette is a gay black man on popular TV show, perfect fodder to the right to use to smear the so called liberal media. The right will push the narrative all the way until 2020.

    • Renee says:

      yep, sounds like he has a martyr complex. On his twitter page, under his profile pic he wrote “I am simply here to help save the world. Nothing is more important than love.”

  15. Enormous Coat says:

    What he did is damaging, but that’s primarily because we don’t believe women broadly, nor men of color, nor lgbtq people, etc…
    One person making up a story should not make anything harder for crime victims. Racists and homophobes will point to this, of course, and be gleeful, but these are the same people who worship the liar-in-chief. What Jussie did – if it all proves true – is not right, but I will not advance the belief or idea that it hurts all victims. That is an aspect of our culture that we need to keep discussing and working to change.

    • Darla says:

      Absolutely. I saw one of my favorite writers on twitter point out that all crimes have been faked, and that people have even faked their own deaths! But when a friend tells us their father died we don’t respond with “are you sure? he could be faking it.”

    • WingKingdom says:

      Oh wow. This is a really important point, and post. I will do my part to spread this idea moving forward- that we don’t have to buy the narrative that wrongdoing by one alleged victim will negate the experience of thousands of others.

      We should never allow that narrative to take root.

  16. Mira says:

    Call me naive or whatever but I did NOT see that coming. Wow… Why would he do that?

  17. RBC says:

    I am shocked that he may have faked the attack. Why on earth would he make up such a story?
    He had so many people believing and supporting him. Jussie’s career and reputation will go down in flames. I don’t know what could have made him do this stunt, but it would serve him right if no one believes his reason now. Frankly, if all the media outlets and major interviewers ( Oprah, Ellen, etc) decide not to book him for interviews I would not blame them

  18. Old Wine Box says:

    I hope he’s prosecuted for this. This is a sick thing to fake and I’m slighted shocked this site is taking it so easy on him. Things are aleady racially tense to begin with and to fake a hate crime only adds fuel to the growing fire. I know there were a lot of commenters who were disgusted he was ever being questioned to begin with, but nothing made sense about his story. Why was he out during the arctic chill, he first alleged his attacker’s were masked, but then they weren’t? There was no video footage to corroborate his story, he wouldn’t cooperate with police. The list goes on.

    This was a sick thing to do and it hurts real victims. He obviously got the attention he wanted.

    • Socks says:

      Totally agree! I think they are being wayyyy to kind to him. If what he did is true..W.T.F.

      I never heard this guys name before this.

    • Renee says:

      For sure. This site is treating him with kid gloves. People on this site vilify celebs who say something stupid or problematic and come at them with daggers. Jussie has done something 100x worse and the reaction here is so mild. @Stronger, I think the CPD is very pissed, they had 12 detectives on this case working 24/7 for over three weeks, that’s A LOT of wasted resources. Think of all the real crimes that were being put on the back burner bc of this case. I hope they make him pay back all the money for the wasted time and resources. But that won’t happen.

      • Old Wine Box says:

        @Renee I love Celebitchy, it’s really the only gossip site I visit but I’ve noticed a trend on this site that really bothers me. Certain people are vilified on this site for sometimes harmless statements that we don’t have much context for, while others get a pass. I’ve seen the statement on here posted multiple times, “believe all victims.” This is a dangerous mind set. Black men have been lynched over that. On the initial post there were several comments questioning his story and those commenters were raked over the coals or implied to be alternative right conspiracy theorists. It’s good to thoughtfully question things because group think is dangerous. His story was always odd and he clearly had a selfish motivation for doing it.

  19. Zabar says:

    If the allegations are true, he caused hundreds of hours of wasted time for police. Time that they could have been assigned to working on actual crimes that resulted in real victims. Targeting the police for leaks and victim- blaming in this case is just grasping at straws and creating diversion from the true implications of this case.

  20. Socks says:

    I don’t agree that the CPD did any victim blaming. I believe MOST everyone believed Jussie…until this story started to get weird. I believed him, until someone pointed out some stuff to me and then I began to wonder. I think everyone wants to believe him, but it’s starting to show he lied. Which is just beyond f*ucked. The CPD are not to blame for victim blaming, Jussie is the one who (allegedly) planned this mess so any blame goes on him.

  21. PhillyGal says:

    Two thoughts – Why is a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department government giving statements to People Magazine? Shouldn’t they be making official statements to the press in general? What’s next – an exclusive to the National Enquirer? Second, let’s remember that when someone legitimately questions a story, it’s not right to assume they are racist or homophobia or whatever.

    • Mia4s says:

      Statements are written by media in that manner generally, it doesn’t mean they spoke just to People. You’ll find similar ones “….a spokesperson told US Weekly.” Or “…as a spokesperson previously told CNN”. A spokesperson will be answering calls from dozens of media outlets on a high profile story, but a media outlet wants to put it in your head that you can only get the story by reading/watching them. Just them. You’re never going to have an out let write “…a spokesperson told me, People, The Star, The LA Times, the Post….”

    • Kebbie says:

      The last statement from CPD said this:
      “We’ve reached out to the ‘Empire’ cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”

      Why would they not refer to him by his name? They’ve dealt with this whole thing in a kind of antagonistic way, IMO.

      • Snow Bird says:

        I was told this is because police try not to use victim’s names when talking about a case to protect their identity. Obviously not an issue in this case, but a lot of the official CPD press releases have referred to him as Empire actor or Empire cast member or as the Empire incident. No idea if this is true for public figures, but I have seen cases where victim’s identities are kept private.

      • Kebbie says:

        That actually makes a lot of sense, and I think you’re right, Snow Bird. That makes me feel better, I thought they were trying to either drag the show into it or belittle him or something.

  22. Stronger says:

    I don’t think this case has to make it harder for victims, we all know that most victims are actually victims and this case doesn’t change that. What I hope is that it makes people realize that questioning things when they don’t feel right or to get more clarity doesn’t automatically make you a foe. A lot of people where called names just for having basic logical questions when it was apparent that this story had holes from the get go. I don’t think it’s wrong to look at things from on a case by case basis.

  23. Bc says:

    Jussie is innocent until proven guilty. It makes no sense to me why he would fake this. It just doesnt. Whichever way you look at it, it makes no sense. Though i must admit the evidence is starting to add up but i need the logic and so far, theres none. He mustve known, if he planned it, that it would get him the publicity but also that it would be investigated. Upon which, the truth would out. And if he was found to be lying, then he would lose his friends, family and career! Makes no sense to play such a highrisk game. I dont buy it, no way. If true, this is deeply embarassing as a fan and weird as hell too (Hollywood can really mess one up, huh?); if its false and they are framing him, i hope the truth outs. Xo

    • Sayrah says:

      So then you think the Nigerian brothers (his acquaintances) attacked him in such a way to make him believe they were white racist MAGA would be lynchers?

  24. Birdie says:

    Wow, this whole story is simply bizarre. I was sick to my stomach when I first heard the story but this outcome is just unbelievable.
    I guess this is the result of Trump‘s message of hatred. It results in desperate actions like these.

    • Patty says:

      I respectfully disagree. You can blame Trump for a lot of things but not for what Jussee Smollett may have done. He did the exact opposite of what should have been done and has possibly harmed not only the legit opposition to Trump – but actual victims of racist and homophobic attacks. No good will come out of this. And if it’s true, one person and one person only is to be blamed and that’s Jussee. SMH.

      • Renee says:

        @ Patty, Exactly. This undermines REAL hate crimes and assaults. This is only on the person who made the false claim, Jussie.

    • Blaze says:

      Birdie, that’s some serious reaching. We are all responsible for our actions. I dont think you’d be saying the same thing if it was a fake rape allegation

    • Florida says:

      This type of thing has happened under all presidents, at all times in history. To blame Trump for this man’s actions, is wrong. Jussie alone is responsible for Jussie. He chose to do this, it falls on him and him alone.

    • Elena says:

      I can’t agree. Trump is a lot of things but he didn’t make Jussie do this, if he staged it.

    • Amelie says:

      Jussie is responsible for his own actions. If he lied about the story, then it’s his own fault and we can’t blame others for it.

  25. Caty Page says:

    I had an incident where a man was repeatedly threatening me and harassing me. He would turn off my power in the dead of winter, pound on the walls of my apartment, and stand in doorways so I couldn’t leave. It was terrifying and everyone told me to go to CPD.

    I was shaking and crying when I told the officer I feared for my safety. The officer laughed in my face. He told me “I can’t charge someone with murder until there’s a body.” I’ll never forget those words.

    I have never and will never trust Chicago police. If there’s a person of color involved, they will lie and gaslight to save appearances. They showed us who they were long before Laquan.

    I’m not saying Jussie wasn’t involved. But I am saying that in a case with any murky facts, I’m disinclined to believe a word coming from CPD.

    • MrsBanjo says:

      That is horrible. I’m so sorry you had to experience that. It’s CPD’s history and track record that is making me want to wait until investigations are over and done. It’s not helping that they’re going straight to rags like People as well as TMZ. Regardless of the outcome, this is a shitshow.

    • Steff says:

      @Caty Page That’s terrifying! I hope you got the help you needed.
      I, too, am still wary about the CPD’s handling of this case.

    • I’m really sorry that happened to you, Caty. You did not deserve that kind of treatment. You have the right to be believed, respected and protected. What that leo did was wrong and I don’t blame you at all for your feelings. xo

    • Sparkly says:

      I’m so sorry. I hope you were eventually able to get away from him.

      I’m with you on trusting the CPD. This hasn’t been handled well at all.

    • Lizzie says:

      1) i’m sorry that happened to you 2) i agree.

    • Florida says:

      I know people here don’t generally like guns but this type of thing is why I support the second amendment and live in a place where defending yourself is legal. That monster knew you had no way to defend yourself and he took advantage of that. I am so sorry you went through that.

  26. everlyB says:

    Hope he gets help. Never believed the story to begin with and thought he made it up for attention, too bad for the brothers participating in this. All three should have known to not get away with this.

  27. hkk says:

    I’ll still support people who say they are victims. If they turn out not to be that’s okay. He was a child star… that was the first thing to give me pause on this. Until there is proof he did this and charges made I’m going to play the fool here. I’d rather accidentally support a liar than ignore a real victim.

  28. Tinkerbellrae says:

    I kept my mouth shut on this one but someyhi0ng just did not feel right from the get go

    • Steph says:

      This is like the 20th comment I’ve read on here like this. And I agree, that’s what I did as well. How much of it is because it is important to wait for evidence and how much of it is because people automatically get called terrible names for disagreeing? I think that really spreads hate as well. People can have different points of view without being a racist, bigot or homophobe.

      • Snow Bird says:

        Agreed. I know it’s Sunday, but I don’t see a lot of the people (or any of them actually) who did the calling out commenting today. Again I believe in listening to a victim and erring on the side of believing them, but like Stronger said a lot of black men or boys have been lied on by people claiming to be victims. It’s a very fine line. Voicing skeptism is fine. Reveling in this is MAGAt territory.

  29. Steff says:

    This is so upsetting. I feel awful for the black people that have been actual victims of hate crimes and/or have dealt with police that didn’t take them seriously when they were telling the truth. I have no inkling of the real fear they have faced. It makes me sick thinking about it.

  30. Cindy says:

    I’m so angry at him. I must admit I was always skeptical about his story, and that’s why I decided to remain silent. But has he any idea how much harm he’s doing with this? Real hate crimes DO happen and they HAVE increased in Trump’s administration, but now whenever people think of hate crimes, they’ll think of this one. They’ll think of the idiot who staged his own hate crime awfully to be on the news.

    Jussie just became every MAGA fanatic’s favorite person. They are going to bring his name up ALL the time.

  31. Harryg says:

    So, the two attackers have not actually committed any crime, except misleading the investigation?
    A sad, bizarre story.

    • Sayrah says:

      No, word is that they were paid by Jussie to stage the attack and they’re cooperating with police.

      • B n A fan says:

        Any lawyer on board? If JS paid to get himself beat up, paid the person, the person beat him up and left, is that person liable Because JS report a false crime?

      • sayrah says:

        @ BNA
        I know the brothers have a lawyer and that Jussie has hired a criminal defense lawyer (apparently Michael Cohen’s) as well. According to TMZ he’s not going agreeing to any more talks with police.

        Maybe conspiracy to obstruct justice? I think even a little heat on them and they fessed up. If they tell their side they become witnesses against Jussie. If the FBI determines he used the mail to send himself threatening letters he’s really screwed.

        Editing because I see you were asking if there is a lawyer here who can help. Haha, I’m no lawyer.

      • Bella Bella says:

        One news source I saw last night actually named an amount for what each of them was paid. It was something like $2500 before the attack and they were to get $500 afterward. Or $1500 before the attack and $500 afterward. I forget which. It was a CBS affiliate station.

      • B n A fan says:

        @Sayrah, lol for you playing a lawyer on CB. Seriously, appreciate you trying to help me figure this out. If I’m not mistaken the news had said the police took a magazine from the brothers home. I’m guessing that might have been where the cut outs of the threats came from. They also said he told them to buy the rope. This is like reading a crime story and trying to figure out how it will end. Which ever way it goes JS will never live this down. Very sad situation.

  32. Tiffany27 says:

    The worst part of this is that real victims will now be put under an additional lens of disbelief. This hurts so many people.

  33. Pamela says:

    Time for Ellen Page to crawl into a hole. She got a tremendous amount of publicity out of this fake attack and her knee-jerk reaction…

  34. Melissa Melissa says:

    I’ve been keeping silent about most stories online especially this one since the details were getting stranger literally by the hour. I need to share a personal story here which, hopefully, will explain why I always believe the victims while keeping an eye and ear opened to see and hear the facts.

    I was a junior in high school, a friend of mine, whom I’ll call Tania here, came to us (a group of friends who used to hang out at school) one morning claiming that she was raped by her then-boyfriend (let’s call him Pete). We were all shocked and disgusted by what he had done, but the bell rang, and we had to go to class. On my way there I saw Pete as he was coming up and I was going down, he said hi to me (he was a lovely, wholesome guy who loved to smile) and I blatantly ignored him. We felt so much disgust for this guy in so little time even now I cannot put into words.

    Later that day, during lunch we sat down with Tania, to talk some more, she did not give any details just that she was forced to raped. We mentioned birth control, STD testing, counseling the works and of course the authorities. She quickly declined to go to the police which we all understood but accepted our help to get tested and counseling (which some of us paid). We never doubted her story, we supported her, we held her hand.

    Long story short, Pete sees me one day at school, he said Melissa what’s going on? We’re cool, I’ve been saying hi and you keep ignoring me. You and all of your friends. I look him straight in the eye and said, “I’ll never forgive you for what you did to Tania.” Rumors spread like wildfire in the school and Pete was forced to quit the school and move.

    I learned years later coming from Tania’s own mouth that she wasn’t raped, she was afraid that her brother whom was at the house at the time would tell her mother that she had had sex at 17 and just told everyone she was raped. It was only after Pete’s house was broken into, he and his father were shot (published in the newspapers, it was a big deal in the community) that she mustered the courage to tell the truth.

    I don’t know if Jussie is the victim here or if he’s the perpetrator, but while I will always offer my love, support, and care to victims of any crime, I will never allow anyone to tell me what to believe or to what extent. I will never publicly express doubts either, but we all should be allowed to be compassionate and research/know the facts as well, not just support someone blatantly just because.

    P.S. I am a mixed woman and a liberal. I shouldn’t have to mention that fact but it seems like these days people can make wild assumptions about your race, beliefs, and personality if you don’t share their opinion.

    • PhillyGal says:

      Thank you for discussing that truly tragic story. Yes, most victims tell the truth, and should be supported. But we should also think twice about jumping to conclusions immediately about the accused. Most of the times the victim had told others about the offense, other victims come forward, an investigation sheds light on what happened, etc., and it’s important to wait for additional information to surface. I have a son and a husband, and I wouldn’t want them crucified right out of the gate.

  35. minx says:

    Sigh. What a mess.

  36. Miss M says:

    I am so shocked at all of this… What was/is his end game?! Way to make it difficult for real victims tl be believed.
    And use immigrants to create a faux hate crime? Immigrants are in constant scrutiny these days… All this story is so wrong.

    • Kebbie says:

      And now he’s pointing the finger at them saying they’re lying. I wonder if this could affect their visas? Total clusterf***.

      • Miss M says:

        I think their visas can be affected (if they are here under a visa). But I am not sure at what extent their status can be affected as they are cooperating. Lawyers at CB, please chime in!

    • minx says:

      I know. Just what we need, more demonizing of immigrants.

  37. Algernon says:

    This makes me sad for several reasons, not least because it may cause victims to hesitate to come forward in the future. I also don’t like anything that makes MAGATs happy. If they’re crowing in victory, we’ve all lost. I hope Jussie gets help.

  38. Karen2 says:

    Im not taking it seriously. All I gotta say is lol.

  39. Janet says:

    Ellen Page….comment needed asap…..

  40. intheknow says:

    wow. I keep hoping it is all a misunderstanding and he is telling the truth. But bloody hell, he’s an idiot. I suspect this is some sort of sex game gone wrong.

  41. Winechampion says:

    This mess is reminding me of Bethany Storro. Remember her? She claimed a black woman threw acid in her face, but it turned out she did it to herself and made up a story. Mental illness, attention-seeking…who knows.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/GMA/acid-attack-victim-bethany-storro-faked-cops-red/story%3fid=11661268

  42. me says:

    The most suspect thing is that TMZ said NEVER would a MAGA loving Trump supporter watch Empire…so the chances of one even knowing who Jussie Smollet is and being able to recognize him on a dark and cold Chicago night is probably impossible. I don’t know but this whole thing is sad.

  43. Jay says:

    I know Mike Monico and run into him occasionally in cook county courtrooms where we both practice. Good guy, good attorney. (But not, like, amazing. There are MANY Chicago attorneys id recommend before him. Like Mark Kusatzky or Ray Wigell or Sam Adams Jr, or Tony Thedford. Just to name a few.) I hate however that part of this discussion is that if someone hires a criminal defense attorney they must be guilty.

    And yes I know that’s ONE SMALL PART of all the stuff going on here but I don’t want to comment on any other part of it because it makes me so sad. :(

  44. Veronica S. says:

    What the absolute f*ck. I mean, really – what is even going on here?

  45. Snap Happy says:

    No one wanted this to be fake. Even people who saw holes in the story prob. Hoped they were wrong because of all the damage this hoax will do. If anybody actively wanted this to be fake, then they are racist -a-holes who think this somehow validates the racist nonsense in their brains. There are still hate crimes perpitrated everyday. Save your finger waving at Ellen Page (wtf?) and superiority based on nothing and show some compassion. No one wins here.

    • Kebbie says:

      Seriously, why are they singling out Ellen Page? I was going to respond to the people here mentioning her but figured I shouldn’t feed the trolls.

      Is it because she’s gay? A woman? Because she’s white, so they expect her to fall into line against people of color? All of the above? There have been so many other celebrities who said the exact same things she did. I do not get why she is the special chosen one they’ve picked to attack and demand an apology from. Truly bizarre.

      • Snap Happy says:

        The only thing I can think of was she was recently critical of Justin bieber’s church??? Like you said, tons of celebrities came out with support for him. I have found that a common criticism against many entetainers is that they should just entertain and not share their opinions. Like they aren’t also tax paying citizens with opinions and experience they can speak from.

  46. oddly says:

    I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt but the ‘bleached poured over him’ pinged my radar. The night of the ‘attack’ it was around -15 F in Chicago, bleach freezes at +18F.
    Sadly this just makes everything so much worse on all levels for everyone trying to fight racism.

    • Amelie says:

      Yup, there’s no way that someone could’ve poured a liquid on him on that day. Chicago had below zero temperature. The bleach would’ve just been a piece of ice.

  47. Bunny says:

    The entire thing makes me very sad and upset. I’ve been the victim of a violent crime, and it is terrifying. I believe victims until proven otherwise.

    I started to have doubts in this case when JS refused to turn over his phone. He said that he wasn’t turning it over in order to protect people, but the police aren’t interested in your photos, your texts about dates, or stuff like that.

    The police are interested in who you talked to and when only as it applies to the investigation, AND they’re interested in where your phone was. They can get a good idea of exactly where you are if there are a lot of cell towers around by triangulating your phone’s signal as you travel through town. It shows them when and where you’ve been.

    Whether JS turns his phone over at this point is almost certainly irrelevant. The police probably have enough evidence to get a warrant for his records from the phone company without his cooperation.

    I still want to believe him, but JS needs to cooperate with the police if he’s innocent.

  48. Happy_fat_mama says:

    Honest question….

    Is reasonable to be skeptical of law enforcement officers who talk to TMZ about ongoing investigations? I’ve heard that police corruption has been know to happen in Chicago. Unfortunately, police in many places treat Black people and gay men unfairly. Perhaps it is worth taking this into consideration?

    • Kebbie says:

      Of course it’s worth questioning. Look up the case of Laquan McDonald. I think because there are so many other questions and doubts around Jussie’s story to begin with, people aren’t believing him over police sources.

      Honestly, the only reason I’m not 100% on board with the “it was a hoax” bandwagon is because we’re dealing with the Chicago PD. I’d have trusted the leaks from nearly ANY other police department 😒 yes, it’s personal

    • lexie says:

      No he lied. end of story. stop trying to hold onto it.

  49. Worker and Parasite says:

    And in other news, word around the campfire is that Mueller has found no evidence of collusion.

  50. Jennifer Leader says:

    With respect, there is so much vitriol against white people on this site, that I really have to say, good for you for not twisting this story around this one time and letting him be the victim. I’ve read so many shitty editorials on here, such as, to the best of my recollection: “how to have power…be white and own a gun.” Etc….I come here for the celebs, the fashion, the jewellery etc…but more and more this site has become black/brown against white. I’m gonna tough it out a bit longer. I have always loved this website. I am at least a three to four year subscriber if not longer. Thank you for keeping it balanced this time

  51. Jennifer Leader says:

    With respect, there is so much vitriol against white people on this site, that I really have to say, good for you for not twisting this story around this one time and letting him be the victim. I’ve read so many shitty editorials on here, such as, to the best of my recollection: “how to have power…be white and own a gun.” Etc….I come here for the celebs, the fashion, the jewellery etc…bit more and more this site has become black/brown against white. I’m gonna tough it out a bit longer. I have always loved this website. I am at least a three to four year subscriber if not longer. Thank you for keeping it balanced this time

  52. Jag says:

    The police should not have said anything other than that they were investigating the alleged crime. It’s reprehensible that he’s being tried in the media like this.

    That said, if it’s true that he staged the attack, I hope that they throw the book on him and the men who helped him. It’s difficult enough for victims to get the police to investigate crimes, so people who stage crimes are really not helping the situation.

    As for why he would have done it if he did stage it, there is a mental disorder similar to Munchausen’s in which people lie and stage things in order to get attention.

    • Patty says:

      Let’s not jump to assume that he has a mental disorder. I’m sick of people constantly trying to excuse away bad better or blame mental illness. If he was in it, whatever he was trying to accomplish seems to have backfired spectacularly. If wasn’t going to be written off the show before, I bet he will be now.

      • Annabel says:

        @Patty — Agree 100%. Since we live in a culture where no one takes personal responsibility for immoral behavior, I assume the next statement will be that he’s going to rehab to deal with “ongoing mental health issues.” And “exhaustion.” And “dehydration”, probably…

  53. Claire says:

    I am one of those people who commented earlier that I was a tad skeptical and had questions, and was terrified to say it for fear of being accused of being racist or homophobic. But my god I had no idea how wacky it would get. I never would have imagined this. It’s going to be very interesting how it all plays out. This is going to be very difficult for him to recover from if it truly was staged. Just wow.

  54. B n A fan says:

    I don’t know his reason for the stunt. I’m curious what his explanation will be. I’m not a fan, I knew how he is but not much about him so I looked him. I found out he has been working a long time on Empire and his net worth is only $500,000. He has been on Empire for five years I would believe he would be worth a few millions by now. , I’m wondering if he’s doing this for publicity to boost his income. After the incident his concert was sold out the next weekend, chicking, chicking. Just a thought. Either that or he’s mentally sick.

  55. Algernon says:

    People really have no idea how actors make money. One, online celebrity net worth sites are never accurate, they’re based on publicly available data and don’t account for any deals that are not disclosed, or interest-earning income. Those sites are at best a ballpark and shouldn’t be taken as the real value of anyone’s net worth. Two, whatever Jussie is making on Empire, you have to cut in half, for taxes and management fees. Having a role on a popular TV show does not guarantee you millions. He’s the third lead on Empire, and the two top-liners are movie stars. I guarantee Taraji and Terence are sucking up most of the actor budget on Empire. Even still, Jussie undoubtedly has more money than a celebrity net worth site says, because those sites are always wrong, but he probably doesn’t have as much as most people think a TV star would have. Most actors exist in the “between what the internet says and what people think” range.