Former Empire star Jussie Smollett maintained his innocence regarding his ongoing criminal case with the city of Chicago during an Instagram Live chat.
Yesterday (September 09, 2020), the actor spoke with author, activist, and BET correspondent Marc Lamont Hill and reflected on the legal matter, in which he is accused of staging a hate crime against himself in early 2019.
Smollett, who was fired from his hit Fox’s Empire due to the situation, admitted his current situation is “beyond frustrating”, sharing: “Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I am so angry, but other times if I squint real hard I can see the silver lining.”
“It’s been frustrating, to say the least,” Smollett said. “It’s been beyond frustrating, because to be somebody that… speaks up for so much and speaks up about so many things, it’s been difficult to kind of be quiet – to not be able to say all the things you want to say, 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 two years.”
The actor said law enforcement and the media are “trying to sell” an agenda by highlighting certain aspects of the case to paint the picture of a guilty man.
“When I step back, I can see the way they served the narrative to the 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. … All I can do is know that out of all the jokers in this entire situation, I am the only human being who has not changed his story one time in order to meet someone’s agenda.”
Why is Smollett speaking out now, on camera for the first time in over a year?
“I’m certainly not going rogue – I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything, but I just don’t really see what staying quiet has done or where it’s gotten me,” he said. “Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I am so angry, and then other times I wake up and if I squint real hard, I can see the silver lining.”
Smollett was asked about a court hearing on Thursday. His attorney, David Hutchinson, confirmed a hearing was scheduled for 11:30 CT at the Cook County Criminal Court regarding his criminal case, but did not immediately provide further details about the court appearance.
“If I’m being completely honest, no, I don’t (believe that the case could be absolved),” Smollett said. “They won’t let this go. It doesn’t matter. There is an example being made and the sad part is that there is an example being made of someone who did not do what they’re being accused of.”