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Old 01-29-2019, 03:05 PM   #1
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Exclamation Update: "Empire" Actor Jussie Smollett gets Criminal Charges Dropped

"Empire" Actor Jussie Smollett Attacked In Possible Hate Crime in Chicago
by Denise Petski
Jan. 29, 2019



"Empire" star Jussie Smollett was attacked early this morning in Chicago in what police are saying is a possible hate crime, Deadline has confirmed.

Chicago PD released the following statement on Twitter: “Overnight the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially charged assault and battery against a cast member of the television show Empire. Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime.




According to police, the actor was exiting a restaurant in the 300 block of East Lower Water Street when two suspects began yelling racial and homophobic slurs towards him.

They then proceeded to attack Smollett, punching him before pouring an unknown chemical substance over him. At some point during the attack, one of the suspects wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck. The attackers then fled the scene.




A law enforcement official in the Windy City told Deadline that officers have been talking to the Empire actor directly about the attack and are in the process of confirming what the substance poured on him is.

Smollett drove himself to Northwestern Hospital and is in good condition, police said.

https://deadline.com/2019/01/empire-...ed-1202544577/
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:32 PM   #2
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Empire resumes filming in Chicago amid reports that the cast is getting armed security in response to Jussie Smollett's assault

Varity reports that filming is "fluid" for the rest of the week. Entertainment Tonight and TMZ report that the cast members, including Smollett, will be given armed guards after he was viciously attacked early this morning in a possible hate crime on the streets of Chicago. Variety reports that it's not known if Smollett's injuries will affect production.

Ellen DeGeneres expresses support for Jussie Smollett

"Four years ago, @JussieSmollett came out on my show. I’m sending him and his family so much love today," Ellen tweeted with the heart emoji in response to news that the Empire star was hospitalized following an apparent hate crime.

UPDATE:
  • Fox and 20th Century Fox Television responds to the attack: "The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”
    Empire co-creator Danny Strong tweeted: I’m deeply horrified and saddened by the racist and homophobic attacks against @JussieSmollett. He is a kind and profoundly talented soul whom I respect with all my heart. The terror of racism and homophobia has no place in our society, it is the most indecent way to live...whoever did this, do not forget that you are nothing but hate filled cowards while Jussie’s talent and activism will continue to shine a bright light on to the world for decades to come."
    Empire co-creator Lee Daniels posts an emotional video: "Jussie you are my son...You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that...No racist f*ck can come in and do the things they did to you. Hold your head up, Jussie. I'm with you. I'll be there in a minute. It's just another f*cking day in America."
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:43 PM   #3
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I just saw it on ET. I hope there will be justice for him.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:16 PM   #4
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Jussie Smollett attack is also an assault on his groundbreaking Empire role

"The actor has yet to speak publicly about the incident," says Daniel D'Addario. "But the violence directed at him seems intended as an attack on the work he’s done and on who he is — that same bold, intersectional, unashamed self that Empire lifts up and celebrates. That Smollett will have behind him, as he heals, a vast community of support from different corners of America is a tribute to the performer he is — ever unapologetically himself — and the ways in which he’s sought to show viewers exactly what the black gay experience is like. And that he’s been the victim of a hate crime, one that seems to have been committed by people who knew and deplored his work, is a sign of just how necessary it is that the entertainment industry make room for even more Jussie Smolletts — more queer artists of color given places in the mainstream so that they can speak clearly, passionately, and with unfakeable humanity about their own experiences, to fight hatred with excellence." ALSO: Smollett's Empire parents Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson express their support for their TV son.

Jussie Smollett reportedly turned down extra security after receiving a threatening letter days before he was attacked

TMZ reports that security around Empire's Chicago set was heightened after Smollett received a threatening, homophobic letter last week. "We're told Fox made the call to beef up security for everyone on set and wanted to give Jussie additional protection around the clock ... but, he declined," TMZ reports. "Our sources say he made the decision to not have extra security during off-hours because it was an intrusive way of living." ALSO: Kevin Hart hit with backlash for expressing support for Smollett on Instagram following his homophobic joke controversy.

Fox temporarily suspends production on Empire, but not because of the Jussie Smollett attack

Empire is halting production today due to arctic temperatures in Chicago, which is experiencing a wind chill in the -40s.

Chicago police confirm that Jussie Smollett reported that his attackers yelled pro-MAGA comments

TMZ earlier reported that Smollett alleged that the attackers who used racist and homophobic slurs also shouted "this is MAGA country" while committing an apparent hate crime, referring to President Trump's Make America Great Again slogan. But there was question about those comments because they weren't part of the initial police statement. Police tell The Hollywood Reporter the comments were not mentioned in the initial report but were added to a supplemental report after another interview with detectives. ALSO: Smollett is scheduled to perform in West Hollywood Saturday despite his injuries.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:37 PM   #5
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Jussie Smollett Makes his First Statement Since Attack: "My Body is Strong but My Soul is Stronger"
by Derek Lawrence
Feb. 1 2019



Jussie Smollett has broken his silence on being the victim of an apparent racial and homophobic attack. On Friday, three days after being hospitalized in Chicago, the "Empire" star made his first public comments.

Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” he said in a statement obtained by EW. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly, I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.



He continued by briefly touching on the investigation, with police currently looking for two persons of interest.

I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level,” he insisted. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.



He concluded, “As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers, and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process.

Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.


https://ew.com/tv/2019/02/01/jussie-smollett-statement/
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:36 PM   #6
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Empire boss confirms Jussie Smollett is back at work: "He just wanted to get things back to normal"

“He’s the heart of the show in many ways and everyone welcomed him back,” showrunner Brett Mahoney told Deadline, confirming that Smollett filmed scenes on Monday. “We let him know we’re all family, we’re all supporting him and we all have his back. I think that helped him ease back to getting back to work.” Mahoney added: "Jussie is a proud, gay black man, and I’m not sure if the cowards were trying to beat the pride, gay or black out of him but he’s strong and we’re happy he’s back at work." ALSO: Will Smollett's attack be written into Empire?

Jussie Smollett reportedly returned to the Empire set on Monday

TMZ reports Smollett shot scenes for one of the season's final episodes on Monday and participated in a table read on Tuesday after performing in West Hollywood over the weekend following last week's attack. TMZ also reports that police want to ask Smollett more questions about the attack.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:04 AM   #7
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Jussie Smollett Declares Chicago PD Says he’s been “Consistent & Credible” in Attack Recollection
by Dominic Patten
February 12, 2019



Two weeks after Jussie Smollett was allegedly attacked on the streets of Chicago, the "Empire" star today hit back at inferences that he has changed his story or been reticent with the ongoing police investigation.



His reps released this statement:

Quote:
Jussie is the victim here, which has been stated by the Superintendent of Police. Jussie has voluntarily provided his phone records from within an hour of the attack and given multiple statements to police. Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie’s account of what happened that night consistent and credible.

Superintendent Johnson has been clear from day one that Jussie is a victim. We are continuing to work closely with the Chicago PD and remain confident that they will find Jussie’s attackers and bring them to justice.



Any redacted information was intended to protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack.

Chicago Police have not told us that they are rejecting any records, nor have they expressed concerns about the records to us. Therefore, we don’t feel compelled to be bated into responding to uncorroborated press reports. We are dealing directly with the Chicago Police Department.




The strong assertion comes a day after a spokesman for the Chicago PD said that the phone records Smollett handed over were “insufficient to corroborate some of the information.

That information is said to include whether the Fox drama actor was speaking to his music manager when a portion of the apparently racist and homophobic assault occurred in the early hours of January 29.

https://deadline.com/2019/02/jussie-...ng-1202556067/
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:41 PM   #8
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRgfv1YnXhU
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:40 PM   #9
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Fox Says Jussie Smollett “Core” to "Empire"; Chicago PD Slam Reports Attack was Staged – Update
by Dominic Patten
February 14, 2019



Reports that an alleged attack on Jussie Smollett more than two weeks ago in Chicago was staged as a career move are “unconfirmed,” the Chicago police said Thursday night.

At the same time, Fox, the network that airs Smollett’s series "Empire", rejected suggestions that the actor was being written off the series, a reason given in reports earlier in the day claiming the attack was not real.

The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous,” said 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment today. “He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.




Earlier in the day, ABC and CBS affiliates in Chicago went with stories that Smollett was believed to possibly be in cahoots on the attack with two men brought in for questioning today.

The outlets claimed the actor may have planned the assault in an idea that it would keep him on the Chicago-filmed show — a show Fox now says he was never being written off of.







In a statement online this afternoon, a spokesman for the Chicago PD, Anthony Guglielmi, offered an update on the ongoing investigation to the assault on Smollett on January 29, as well as a stern rebuke to local media.

"Media reports anout the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate."




Guglielmi tweeted shortly after Smollett’s GMA appearance this morning that through a “meticulous investigation,” detectives “have identified the persons of interest in the area of the alleged attack of the Empire cast member. These individuals are not yet suspects but were in area of concern and are being questioned. Investigation continues.

Shortly after that tweet, Guglielmi tweeted, “Important for media reporting: The people of interest are alleged to be in the area where a crime was reported. They are not considered suspects at this time as they are currently being questioned by detectives. We remain in communication with the alleged victim.

https://deadline.com/2019/02/jussie-...ed-1202558074/
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:11 AM   #10
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Police Sources: New Evidence Suggests Jussie Smollett Orchestrated Attack
by Ryan Young, Brad Parks and Dakin Andone, CNN
February 17, 2019



Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.

Smollett denies playing a role in his attack, according to a statement from his attorneys.

The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of "new evidence." The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.




Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs." He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

The sources told CNN there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett's neck at a hardware store in Chicago.




Smollett's attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, issued a statement to CNN Saturday night saying Smollett was angry about these latest developments.

"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the statement read. "He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."




Smollett's attorneys said they expect further updates from Chicago police on the investigation and will continue cooperating with authorities.

"At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to 'unnamed' sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels," the statement read.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/16/enter...ack/index.html
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king of comedy View Post
I just saw it on ET. I hope there will be justice for him.
So do I.
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I just nailed Mrs. Trumbull
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:04 PM   #12
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Jussie Smollett Still Hasn’t Talked to Cops Again about Attack & “Developments
by Dominic Patten
February 17, 2019



Things may be moving towards some sort of formal prosecution in the Jussie Smollett alleged attack case but Chicago PD have definitely yet to have a new sit-down with the "Empire" actor as more “developments” come to the surface.

As rumors swirl of a Grand Jury being convened soon on what was once classified as a “potential hate crime” on January 29, the Windy City cops said Sunday that they “cannot confirm any details as the investigation is still on-going.



However, a well-placed law enforcement source tells Deadline that despite emerging and complicating evidence and requests for a further formal interview, Smollett has not made himself available “in a timely fashion” to investigators.

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and a sense of frustration with the response by Smollett and his lawyers,” the source stated.







Amidst signs that Smollett himself has become the subject of deeper inquiry into the supposed assault that occurred in the early hours of January 29, detectives want to know more about the actor’s version of what happened that day on the streets of Chicago and any possible “pre-knowledge” he may have had, says the law enforcement source of the incident.

The widely condemned attack was previously described as a racist and homophobic fueled barrage that left Smollett beaten, drenched in bleach and with a rope slung around his neck.



While Smollett is not considered a formal suspect currently, authorities additionally are seeking to learn more about his private relationship with Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo.

The brothers were previously described by Chicago police as “potential suspects” in the attack and arrested last week. Identified as the individuals in the photos of “persons of interest” in the Smollett case, the two were held without charge for 48 hours and then let go in the night of February 15.

Formerly "Empire" extras and more recently, at least one of the brothers has been Smollet’s personal trainer, the Osundario siblings are now “fully” cooperating with authorities into the probe into the assault of almost three weeks ago, I hear.




Reps and lawyers for Smollett did not respond to request for comment this afternoon on the increasingly even more controversial case.

https://deadline.com/2019/02/jussie-...re-1202559282/
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:11 PM   #13
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Jussie Smollett's Empire role has been slashed in the wake of his attack scandal

TMZ reports that Smollett "was supposed to have 9 scenes and a big musical number in the second to the last episode -- which is being shot now -- but, 5 of his scenes have been cut, and his musical number has been 86'd. As for the remaining 4 scenes ... we're told he's no longer the focus. The scene features an ensemble, meaning he's flanked by a number of cast members." ALSO: Trevor Noah tackles the "weird" Smollett case on The Daily Show.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:43 PM   #14
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It looks like the postal inspectors are looking at him as the possible source of a threatening letter he received last month. Stupid people don't know they're stupid.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:50 PM   #15
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Police now consider Jussie Smollett a suspect in setting up his own attack

"Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony)," Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted this evening, in the first official confirmation that the police were investigating the Empire star. "Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury." The tweet comes hours after Smollett's attorneys met with police investigators. The meeting came the same day that celebrity defense attorney Mark Geragos, who last week settled with the NFL in the Colin Kaepernick collusion case, joined Smollett's legal team. According to CNN, detectives are working to obtain the actor's financial records.

ALSO:

Jussie Smollett charged with felony for filing a false police report, faces three years in prison

A Cook County grand jury indicted the Empire star Wednesday night, hours after Chicago police officially named him a suspect in his own attack. The Cook County State’s Attorney's Office charged Smollett with filing a false police report, which is considered disorderly conduct in Illinois and calls for a maximum three years in prison. Disorderly conduct is a Class 4 felony. "Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest," tweeted Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi. A bail hearing has already been scheduled for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Central Time. TMZ reports that brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, whom detectives interviewed last week, "told Grand Jurors they staged the so-called 'attack' at Jussie's behest and even got paid for it. The brothers were caught on camera buying a bunch of supplies before the incident ... including ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses and red hats." UPDATE: Smollett's attorneys promise an "aggressive defense": “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,” the actor's attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson tell Deadline. “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

Last edited by TMC; 02-21-2019 at 02:23 AM.
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