Is Smollett In or Out?

Jussie Smollett.  Two months ago, the Empire actor was attacked by two Trump
supporters who turned out to be Nigerian weightlifters.  But then, Jussie was arrested
for working with them to fake a hate crime.  But then, the charges were dropped
for no reason.  And then, Jussie said the brothers really did attack him,
but they were in whiteface.  And now, the story’s starting to get weird…
I don’t know who’s writing The Jussie Smollett Story, but they deserve a raise.” 
Trevor Noah’s take on the latest twists and turns in the Jussie Smollett’s story –
which we’ll cover later in this column.

On to Jussie Smollett.  Since I know you’re not watching Empire anymore, I can tell you that his character got married last week.  For these last two episodes of the season, he’ll be on his honeymoon.  While no official decision has been made about whether the show or Jussie will be back next season, his co-stars have banded together and issued a statement asking that Smollett be rehired.  “We understand the past months have been difficult to process – sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal.”  The letter continues: “Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character.  He is kind.  He is compassionate.  He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity.”  I dunno about all THAT!  The letter also says, “He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped.  We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed.”

Of course, Jussie’s legal problems are far from over.  The City of Chicago is suing him for the cost of the investigation.  And now those hot Nigerian brothers are suing Jussie’s lawyers in federal court for defamation.  They claim that Smollett paid them “a sum of money to stage the attack to benefit himself” and that he “directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose.”  They’re suing the lawyers because they “made these comments knowing they were untrue to distract from Mr. Smollett’s farce and to promote themselves and the Geragos & Geragos Law Firm.  Statements indicating Plaintiffs criminally battered Mr. Smollett without his consent are patently false and defamatory, as Mr. Smollett originated, planned, and orchestrated the attack.” 

And then there’s a gay angle.  Around the time of the “attack”, one of the brothers spent the night at Jussie’s place.  Jussie is gay, and the brother (Abel) plays the stand-in for Jussie’s love interest – which led to some sex rumors.  In the suit, Abel (who suddenly goes by the name Bola) says that just a rumor of someone having gay sex could put their entire family at risk.  “Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Nigeria, which can result in 14 years of imprisonment.  If the accused is married, the punishment is death by stoning”.  Note to self – don’t do a layover in Nigeria!  Is it just me, or is Jussie’s life far more interesting than anything they’re writing on Empire?

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