In 2019, Empire star Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two men in a racist and homophobic assault crime. However, as terrifying the story might be, Chicago police turned the tables when they accused Smollett of staging the attack, saying that it was a choreographed "publicity stunt" that was made because the actor was "dissatisfied with his salary."
It's been quite a long while since the incident, and now it seems like Smollett's sister, Birds of Prey star Jurnee Smollett, has decided to break her silence.
Speaking in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about protest and the Black Lives Matter movement, Smollet decided to share a story so very close to her – the arrest of her brother Jussie.
According to the actress, the incident has been "one of the most painful things" that her family has ever been through. Despite the suspicion being thrown at Jussie, Jurnee remains steadfast saying that she still loves and believes in her brother.
"It's been fucking painful, one of the most painful things my family's ever experienced -- to love someone as much as we love my brother and to watch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating," Smollett said. "I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I've tried not to let it make me pessimistic. But everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother."
The attack came on January 29, 2019. Jussie had reportedly been assaulted in the early morning hours of that day by two white men. They tied a rope around his neck, poured unknown chemical substance over his body, and shouted racist and homophobic slurs. Jussie then reported the incident to the police.
The next month, however, the police declared that Jussie had filed a false report, and so the Empire alum was taken in for an arrest.
Though charges were dropped in May 2019, a grand jury brought new charges against the star in January 2020. Jussie continues to claim innocence all throughout.
It must be very difficult for Jurnee and her family right now. We hope that Jussie and Jurnee Smollett find justice and peace soon.