Jussie Smollett opened up with author and activist Marc Lamont Hill on Instagram Live, and discussed the fallout he dealth with after reporting being attacked in January of 2019, and then later being indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct. As he has since the get-go, he maintained his innocence.
“It's been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” he said about publicly commenting on the case. “I'm still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don't really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It's so much bigger than me.”
The indictment claimed he lied to police and staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself. The charges were dropped in March of 2019. In February of this year, he pleaded not guilty to a six-count indictment which revived the disorderly conduct allegations.
After the attack and ensuing controversy, his role on Empire was nixed, and the show was later canceled. He said that what has happened in the past few years has “humbled me.” He added that his legal team filed a motion against his indictment that will be reviewed on Thursday in court. “I believe I have to give it up to God,” the actor said.
“They won't let this go,” he said. “It doesn't matter — there is an example being made. And the sad part is that there's an example being made of someone who did not do what they are being accused of.”
He added that there would be no reason for me to do this” and “this is bulls—,” adding that the “last thing” he wants to do is “be portrayed as a victim.”
Smollett also said that two witnesses can corroborate his story.