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News: Jussie Smollett Faces 16 Additional Felony Charges

(Photo Credits: Sister Circle Live [CC BY 3.0])

Jussie Smollett’s troubles keep piling up. 

Last month, Smollett pleaded not guilty to his charge of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report with the Chicago police. 

Last Friday—March 8, 2019—a Cook County grand jury indicted the embattled American singer and actor on 16 felony counts for allegedly staging a fake racist and homophobic hate crime attack on himself. According to Variety, “Eight of the charges involve false statements given to Officer Muhammed Baig, while the other eight pertain to a more detailed account given to Det. Kim Murray.” 

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, one of the actor’s attorneys Mark Geragos, said Smollett “maintains his innocence” and called the indictment “prosecutorial overkill.” Geragos said, “This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines.” 

Smollett’s arraignment is scheduled on Thursday—March 14, 2019—where he is expected to enter his plea.

The attack in question reportedly took place on January 29, 2019 wherein Smollett, an openly gay black man, was allegedly attacked by 2 men described as “white and wearing ski masks.” The men purportedly hurled racial and homophobic slurs before beating him up, putting a rope around his neck, pouring bleach on him, and shouting, “This is MAGA country” as they fled the scene.

A lot has happened since then. Jussie Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon has been written off the final two episodes of the upcoming season of the TV show Empire. In other news, multiple Northwestern Memorial Hospital employees have been fired for accessing Jussie Smollett’s medical records without proper authorization but the fired employees claimed they didn’t do it.

Meanwhile, Queen Latifah said in an interview that while she doesn’t “know what to make” of the scandal, that she is standing by Smollett “until someone can provide ‘definitive proof’ the incident was a hoax.” She explained, “The guy I’ve seen has always been someone who cares about people, who cares about others, and who’s very kind and who’s always been cool and sweet. And that’s just the guy I know.”

Terrence Howard, who played Jussie Smollett’s father on Empire, has posted a message on Instagram for Smollett saying, “All your lil homies got you… We love the hell outta you ♥.”


There are 25 comments

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  1. Matt

    The downside of Jussie’s criminality is that it reinforced a negative, racist stereotype that black people are inherently criminal. It’s not right or fair, but black celebrities have the added burden of being cultural benchmarks and Smollett butchered that one. Now add on how foolish he simultaneously made gay men look. It’s bad enough that some people think gay men are shallow, drama queens looking for attention, but right on cue Smollett comes along to be the shallow, drama queen of the moment. The charges against him are 100% appropriate. The fact that all the people who rushed blindly to his defense and now have egg all over their faces have not decried his dishonesty is telling.

  2. Jason

    Way to go Queen. Who would give any credibility to the scumbags in the Chicago Police department given their crooked history and present? They currently have officers involved in crimes against black men in Chicago but butterball Johnson has the nerve to get on tv, feigning indignation that a “black man would do this” yet he as a black man does nothing to address his WHITE officers that harrass and kill black men. Simply rich. So many claim Jussie’s story doesn’t add up but aside from the interview on ABC, the “public” hasn’t actually gotten anything from HIM. Yet they have sooo much to say as if they were there. Stupid @ss people, I swear. It’s like the middle ages all over again. I would love to find out the demographics of the “grand jury”… probably a bunch of miserable old low life hypocrites. This situation has made me hate Chicago even more. And I say that as a Chicagoan. This city/state is phony as hell and loves to conceal it’s racism. Pathetic.

    • Mike

      I don’t think you should take your anger out on the Chicago Police Department. There is ample evidence to prove that Smollett plotted this ridiculous crime in order to either generate more popularity for himself and play the victim role and/or be able to demand more money for his acting role. I think Smollett should be ashamed of himself and hope that he will ultimately apologize for his lack of judgement. This diminishes the voices of the true victims of hate crimes and for that he should be punished. I hope that others will learn from this and not stoop to the level that he did in order to better himself.

      I also don’t believe that people are over-reacting to what Smollett did. He is a black gay man and attempted to use that as a false victim which has caused more hate and divisiveness in our country. He wanted to blame this on MAGA hate wearers. While I do not agree with the right conservative positions, I find that claiming to be a victim of a hate crime that was not true and would lead to more hate in our country is a disgusting act.

      • Jason

        Save your bullshit for someone who is buying it. You’re a broken record. All this “ample evidence” that you have not been provided personally. You’re as retarded as the religious fundamentalists. This is about your beliefs. Nothing more. It is amusing when the “left” sides with the right to justify the tendency to not believe victims when they were never inclined to believe a victim in the first place, unless of course they were whining about “reverse racism”. Your argument falls flat. Don’t waste your time replying to me because you won’t be changing my mind. And I assure you there is no anger, just illumination into the deviousness of people.

    • Jim LaForte

      Here is something that I never hear a brother say: “I accept responsibility for my actions and accept my role in it.” But, it is easier to remain in the world of “Identity” (Black, Gay, Liberal, SELF-Victimized) than it is to grow and change. Now do not get me wrong. There are plenty of SELF-victims from all walks of life, but again, since we are talking about this Queen Jussie Full-Of-It, once again, black men are accusing the police (who did their job and very well) rather than beating up on Jussie for committing, cough, cough, excuse me, “allegedly” committed this crime. Sorry gents, but it all begins with PERSONAL accountability (“The police stopped me because I was acting suspiciously”) and PERSONAL responsibility (“I am sorry that I lost my temper and acted out and am sorry for my behavior and the actions that I took”).

  3. RL

    I believe that Smollett would have asked for more salary. Highly popular young actors have done that before. If he faked the crime, of course some penalty should apply. Whether he faked the crime, is a jury question.
    I do know the authorities tend to be harsher on those who they think have reported falsely, than on those who have committed crimes.
    I look at all the accusations made against performers recently, and how harsh the fallout has been. Retractions never brought restoration of what was lost. I look at all the complaints coming about past abuses, and I wonder if this over-reaction against Smollett is not a veiled push against all those who have been coming forward, a warning that the police are tired of having to deal with these.
    I wonder, too, if this is not the authorities proving that they do not give special treatment to famous people when, by public perception, certain famous people continue to get away with things. It is sadly ironic, but the level of penalty aimed at him seems to be from the same motivations as his alleged attack. They used to call that “legal lynching.”
    I wonder if that crossed anyone else’s mind? I am not saying false reporting does not harm the cause, but over-punishing does not help the cause, either.

    • Peter J.

      Well, there’s no ‘over-punishing’ yet, the case has yet to be tried. We are ALL supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and if he’s found ‘not guilty’ the police will have to go back and look at the evidence to find out who committed the crime. I’m willing to wait.

      It is just a sad consequence of modern times that everybody has put their ‘verdict’ in the press, pretending they have the knowledge and/or right to pass judgment here. I really don’t care what famous people say, the man reported a crime, the police did an investigation, and now the jury will decide. If they find guilt, we’ll see what kind of punishment is given.

    • Edward

      Well, number of charges dosen’t equate to seriousness of crime / sentence.

      The worst charge, the federal felony mail fraud / fake terrorism hasn’t even been brought yet.

      I see your point… but at the same time this guy is -still- lying about what happened. He would have no problem sending someone to jail for this “crime”, he even offered to testify against, and publicly accused, the two people he saw in the video of being his attackers. Until he realized who they were.

      He was ready to send 2 innocent people to jail for his fake crime… and this guy still can’t even man up and admit that he did anything wrong.

      A plea deal should have been reached by now. He won’t even admit he did anything wrong. So the state (and probably soon the feds) are saying “fuck it, you want to pretend you are innocent? Fine, let’s go to court”.

      And frankly, I don’t blame them.

      He hasn’t grown up yet. He is still lying about this. If he would have come out immediately (after being caught) and confessed to everyone (including white people and Trump supporters), maybe I would agree with you. But he didn’t. So fuck him. Let him go to trial for the crimes he committed, he seems to want to.

  4. anonimatovato

    I’m sorry but if this is true, he just made minorities and gays look bad af! we face enough discrimination and if you’re a racial minority even more. this doesn’t help real cases where those stories need to be validated (with proper evidence, before you people y’all be sayin’ that lol) and believed. imagine being an actual victim of a hate crime assault and now people be wondering if you’re making stuff up. it’s bad enough certain racial profiling cops be playing bad guy as is. and yes, if he was white blonde pretty boy, he’d be forgiven in a hot second. white celebrities get special treatment all the time. this case is a major setback in so many levels.

  5. Jeffrey

    We should ignore the fact that he is a black gay man. The fact that this is even a story is because he is famous. The reason many are coming to his defense is that they are claiming that this is racism and prejudice.
    This was a hate crime no matter if it was real or not. the only question is was it against a black gay man or a white Trump supporter.

  6. Ben Raines

    I hope they throw the book at the attention-seeking moron. From what I saw on TV commercials, his character is getting killing on the show. Way to go, Jessie Mullett!

  7. arturo

    Chicago is an awfully dangerous city, with an incredible number of black victims that nobody hears about on TV, but when it’s someone ‘famous’ the police takes this seriously. Chicago is also a 1000% solidly democrat, Trump hating city- so the police probably really, really wanted Smollett’s story to be true. These days, celebrities have to out-hate the President daily, it’s what they do.

    So imagine the police’s surprise when they realized they’d been duped. They did an incredibly thorough investigation, getting countless subpoenas to look at every camera for miles, interviewing hundreds of people, all because they were probably motivated to help this alleged victim. It’s not police racism that resulted in the charges, it was the cameras, the testimony, the evidence pointing to the fact that Smollett made the whole thing up. Now, it’ll go through the legal system, not the press, because we are all innocent until proven guilty.

    It’s all out there now, and according to the American justice system, the jury will tell us if they believe it was a hoax or not. Let’s wait and see. Since when is Chicago “maga country” anyway???

  8. Cadiboi

    He wanted attention, a “media gang bang of epic proportions,” as his lawyer told Anderson Cooper, and that’s exactly what the Chicago Police Department is giving him. He’ll have a silly trial in which he performs some monologue on the stand, then he’ll either be acquitted, or he’ll be convicted and receive a year probation. Either way, it’s much ado about nothing and Smollett’s career is over.

  9. Matt (Black)

    Folks, let keep everything in perspective. He was dead wrong and whatever punishment our judiciary system impose on him will be deserved. We must not forget he didn’t kill noone, sexually abuse any women (President Trump) or kids (Several Priest). He physically didn’t hurt anyone except himself with the scar i seen under his eye. The people who rushed blindly to his defense was based on the racial climate, past unfair racial injustices and past racial incidents that’s been going on for years and still going on (Charlottesville). We must confess that everything he made up is sadly believable. So fellow Americans, lets claim down, no more I told you so and let’s heal. We better than that and hopefully after the 2020 election we can heal and get back on track toward racial unity like we was doing before 2016 and we all can agree to that. 😉

  10. Dallas

    While I feel like what he did was a pretty shitty and disgraceful thing and I’m not standing up for him one bit, I feel his prosecution is a bit overkill. If he wasn’t a “celebrity” and making headlines for the CPD, would he really end up with 16 felony charges? I mean there are far, FAR more serious crimes that happen out there that go with less than half the amount of charges stuck to them. I feel like because he’s a black gay man who is in the spotlight for CPD, they are going to roast him to make an example out of him.

  11. Cody Mathis

    While I severely hope he is innocent, lets not forget the OVERWHELMING amount of evidence stacked against him in this case. Let’s mention a few factors such as: 1) the obvious transaction details showing that Smollett paid the two brothers, 2) All the video security footage, taxi/uber records that show nothing of what Smollett claims as well as showing the brothers were elsewhere during the time of the said attack, and 3) the obvious financial motive.
    I hope that he is telling the truth, just for the principle of the situation, but the evidence seems to be heavily stacked against him.
    The one thing that boggles my mind in all of this is, if he is guilty, why haven’t the two brothers been charged for conspiracy as well?

  12. Pride

    All involved need to pay some kind of price so others can understand that what they did is something that is unacceptable and unfair especially to our community….if found guilty.

  13. doug

    How many books and how large can you throw at him! He deserves every page if gulity.
    I will bet a 5.00 check on that and all of hollywood that twitters before the facts are in !
    If this is not call the kettle black ! I hope these people choke on this !

  14. Hunter0500

    “… nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines.”???

    So far it’s so much more like shooting fish in a barrel.

    The story has not held up since Moment One. The defense attorneys have delivered nothing to support it since they were hired. Hopefully for him they’ve got some big rabbits in their legal hats.


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