Entertainment News Briefing: Jussie Smollett Case (UPDATED)

Jussie Smollett, well known for his role on “Empire,” has created a divide among his supporters and the public. In late January, Smollett reported to the Chicago police department (CPD) that he was attacked by two men who yelled homophobic and racist slurs then after proclaimed that this was a “MAGA country.” The actor is very public about his sexual orientation, and in the wake of the attack, the LGBTQ community was shocked. The investigative unit of the CPD labeled this attack as a hate crime, but that started to crumble.

In mid-February, the CPD revealed that Smollett involved in planning the attack on himself and also released information Smollett was seen with the two people who were identified as his attackers. CPD discovered that the two attackers were paid by Smollett to carry out the assault. Smollett’s motivations are still unclear but he was interviewed by Good Morning America on the Feb. 15, stating that he is now fine and the details of the attack which have been most recently released to the public are a lie.

Since then, Smollett hasn’t directly said anything about the situation. His fellow “Empire” co-stars, Taraji P. Henson, who plays Smollett’s mother in the show, is in support of Smollett stating that “hate won’t win” while the producers made the decision to take him off the show. Smollett’s trial began on March 14, where he pleaded as not guilty with 16 felony charges for disorderly conduct.


Smollett entered the Criminal Court in Chicago the early morning of March 26th for an “emergency court appearance”. Smollett’s attorneys, Tina Gladian and Patricia Brown Holmes confirm to the public that “all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean”. They later on state that “Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions” and that we should be reminded that Smollett is the “victim [who]..deserves dignity and respect”.