Jussie Smollett Says Being Quiet About Alleged Attack Is ‘Beyond Frustrating’ + Suggests There’s Proof To Back His Story: There Are 2 Witnesses
Jussie Smollett has sat down for his first interview in almost two years. The former “Empire” star didn’t give much detail about what happened that night in January 2019 but said he was “still taking the advice” of his lawyers.
At the same time, he suggested he’s not sure if staying quiet about the incident has been more helpful or harmful to how he’s perceived.
Jussie Smollett claimed back in January 2019 that he was the victim of a hate crime. He alleged that two men screaming “MAGA” poured bleach on him and tied a noose around his neck. They also allegedly hurled racial and homophobic insults at him, Jussie Smollett said. His story was turned upside down when two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, accused Smollett of paying them to attack him. Since then, Smollett’s career and life haven’t been the same as many have struggled to believe his story.
He told TV personality Marc Lamont Hill during an interview via Instagram:
“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. 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.”
“…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.”
The negative attention and criminal charges against Smollett for allegedly lying to police (which were later dropped) caused him to be let go from his role as Jamal Lyon on the FOX series “Empire.” He didn’t appear in the final season of the show that wrapped earlier this year.
Smollett added that he’s not optimistic he’ll win his next court appearance, scheduled for today (Thursday, Sept. 10th).
“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’s also standing by his story that it was white men who attacked him.
“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.”
He said there’s footage of that night but adds:
“Of course, it cuts off right before it happens…I certainly didn’t have the power to cut the tape, so who cut the tape?”
He spoke on the criticism he’s received and 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.”
See the full interview at the 40:27 mark.
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