Jussie Smollett is speaking out in his first televised interview since he was reportedly assaulted in a homophobic and racist attack. He sat down with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America.”
The 36-year-old actor and singer made it clear that he was not lying, despite mixed reporting from the notoriously corrupt Chicago Police Department and online rumors, saying, “For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing. I didn’t need to add anything like that. They called me a f—-, they called me a n—-. There’s no which way you cut it. I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae.”
On rumors that he was meeting someone from a dating app, “I’ve heard that it was a date gone bad, which I also resent that narrative. I’m not gonna go out and get a tuna sandwich and a salad to meet somebody. That’s ridiculous. And it’s offensive,” he added.
He also addressed reports that he refused to give his phone to police, “They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I’m sorry but — I’m not gonna do that. Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers: my partner’s number, my family’s number, my castmate’s number, my friends’ numbers, my private emails, my private songs, my private voice memos. I don’t know what that’s gonna be, to hand over my phone for — and honestly, by then, inaccurate, false statements had already been put out there.”
See a clip below:
Smollett also said he was optimistic when he was told there was a camera where the attack took place, however, the camera was in the opposite direction, which he had no control over. However, the “Empire” actor has another theory on why people are doubting him, “I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate. And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more.. And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now.
“It’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.” Watch below:
The Chicago Police Department has dropped the ball from the beginning with their handling of the case in the media. First, a police spokesperson said there was no footage of the assailants. Then, hours later, there were two “persons of interest” on video. They also claimed the “Empire” actor “refused” to give the cops his phone.
The Chicago Police Department said Monday afternoon that the 36-year-old actor submitted his phone records but it was “limited and redacted” from within an hour of the alleged incident. The CPD also said in a statement, “We are very appreciative of the victims cooperation however the records provided do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation as they were limited and heavily redacted. Detectives may be following up with him to request additional data to corroborate the investigative timeline.”
On Feb. 9, while walking to a subway, two men reportedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at the actor after he exited the restaurant, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
Threatening letters directed at Smollett were reportedly sent to Fox Studios in Chicago a week before. The cutout letters read, “You will die black f**.” See below:
Hopefully, Jussie Smollett gets justice.