Back in 2019, former Empire actor Jussie Smollett sat down with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” to recall what he labeled a hate crime as two white men assaulted him in Chicago. Not only did the two men beat Smollett and declare that America was MAGA country, they tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him. That was after they hurled numerous racist and homophobic slurs at him. While once an actor, in March, he was found guilty of falsifying a police report. Cook County Judge James Linn labeled Smollett to be nothing more than a “charlatan”. But now, while being out of jail on appeal, the actor gave an interview on the incident and how it was all the truth. 

Speaking on the SiriusXM show, Sway in the Morning, Smollett detailed the Good Morning America interview, stating, “I didn’t wanna do an interview. You know what I’m saying? And I don’t wanna get too deep, you know, because I love and respect Robin Roberts… but I did not want to do that interview. I hadn’t watched the interview at all until we were on trial and I had to watch it because they were trying to use the interview as evidence of lies or whatever. So, I had to watch it and I watched it and I was mortified…I cringed.” 

Instead of admitting to any wrongdoing, Smollett continued to defend himself and even suggested that he was a victim of homophobic profiling. “As an openly gay black man who leads with his blackness … I wanted to represent all of us that had been assaulted based on who we are … But I also didn’t wanna be associated with people who had been attacked. I’m genuinely sorry to say this, but this is the way that I felt, I don’t feel that way anymore, but I know that that’s the way that I felt. I felt like, I felt like I just became a [gay slur] that got his ass beat.”

As for his sentencing that included 150 days in jail, a $150,000 fine, and 30 months of probation, Smollett admitted that he has only served a total of six days. 

This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on June 24, 2022. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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