Many were quick to cancel actor and singer Jussie Smolett after his alleged scandal that he was assaulted by two people he described as “white men” back in January of 2019. As the story developed it was later discovered that the head of the Chicago Police Department accused Jussie of staging an attack on himself due to him being unhappy with his salary on his show.
Since then, many were outraged with the actor and the allegations brought against him, which later cost him his breakthrough role on “Empire.” Till this day, Jussie has continued to deny these claims.Now more than a year later, Jussie’s sister Jurnee Smollett, who’s known for her role as Black Canary on “Birds of Prey”, spoke out on the incident during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. Jurnee referred to the entire scandal as “fu—ing painful” for their family.
The Smollett family has had their world turn upside down preceeding the early morning of Jan. 29 when Jussie described the occurrence as an “assault”, saying he was physically attacked, called racial and homophobic slurs, had an unknown chemical substance poured on him, and had a rope tied around his neck.
After Jussie reported these allegations to Chicago police, an investigation was launched prompting them to raid the home of two Nigerian-American brothers who had worked with Smollett in the past after finding records that they were paid $3,500 allegedly by Smollett to pull off this stunt. The evidence showed the rope that Smollett claimed he had wrapped around his neck was purchased by a hardwood store just days before the attack and camera footage of the brothers inside a clothing store where they purchased the clothes seen worn during the attack.
Smollett was soon charged with making a false report, but the charges were dropped with little to no explanation from prosecutors. It wasn’t much time later that attorney, Dan Webb was asked to investigate why the charges were dropped. Later that February, Smollett was indicted once more where he pleaded not guilty and maintained his innocence.
Nonetheless, Jurnee has chosen to stand by her big brother and even said in the interview, “But everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother.” She’s even went as far as to commend him saying, “I mean f—ck man, I look at him sometimes and I’m like, ‘He’s so strong.’”
She went on explaining how difficult the situation has been on her family including her other siblings: Jojo, 42, Jazz, 40, Jake, 31, and Jocqui. “It’s one of the most painful things my family’s ever experienced— to love someone as much as we love my brother, and to arch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating. I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I’ve tried to not let it make me pessimistic.”
Jussie had moved in with Jurnee after her divorce from Josiah Bell of ten years and has continued to keep himself busy while waiting for his legal matters to come to an end. He’s “staying creative, as creatives do—singing, writing, working on music”, Jurnee unveils.
Jussie had recently made a return to social media after deleting his Twitter, going incognito on his Instagram, and disabling his comments since June of 2019.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Jussie took to his Instagram after nearly nine months of silence to serenade to his followers singing, “A Place in the Sun” by Stevie Wonder and leaving his comments open for his fans to show their appreciation. Although, Jussie’s social media revival was short lived as it appears he’s deleted his Instagram all together ever since.
Still, it seems these unsettling events have not stopped Jussie in his work of advocacy, being spotted at several Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd and even making a donation of over $30K towards COVID-19 relief efforts.
Now it’s up to the #Gaye’s to decide. Are we standing by Jussie Smollett just as his sister has done or are we calling his bluff?