Jussie Smollett Maintains Innocence After Being Charged With New Hoax Indictments
Jussie Smollet maintained his innocence when speaking to a TMZ reporter at the Los Angeles airport on Wednesday. The former ‘Empire’ actor is facing six new criminal charges surrounding his purported Chicago hate hoax, in which he is said to have paid two Nigerian brothers to play the role of racist Trump supporters and stage a fake attack on him.
Smollett’s accomplices have turned on him, admitting their role in the hoax and that Smollett paid them to help him pose as a victim. But the actor is still maintaining his innocence, as seen in his conversation with a TMZ reporter.
The actor spoke with confidence when asked about his legal strategy.
“I don’t claim to be innocent, I am innocent.”
Smollett’s claims are disputed by the Osundairo brothers, who have been subjected to lengthy police interview surrounding their role in the hate crime hoax. They’ve admitted they were paid by Smollett in the elaborate scheme.
Smollett appeared set to coast free of any potential legal consequences from the hoax in March of 2019, when charges of lying to police were dropped by a Chicago prosecutor with little to no expanation. Local police unions seethed when it was revealed Chicago District Attorney Kim Foxx was closely connected to some of Smollett’s political contacts.
However, Smollett was charged with new accounts of lying to police earlier this month by Special Counsel Dan Webb, who was appointed by Judge Michael Toomin to review the matter.
“It’s definitely frustrating, but it’s fight or die at this point,” Smollett stated, making it appear unlikely that he’d come forward and admit to organizing the hoax.
“The truth is the best defense. The truth, which they know nothing about.”
Fighting words. The case against Smollett is objectively strong, corroborated by numerous witnesses, surveillance camera footage of the actor’s accomplices purchasing materials used in the hoax, and premeditated plotting preceding the event.
It appears likely that Smollett will argue the Osundairo brothers executed the attack purely on their own initiative, going out of their way to make a dishonest attack on a liberal actor that left him a picturesque hate crime victim.
Smollett’s next court date is on March 18th. Perhaps he’d be better off reconsidering his legal strategy before then.