Chicago – A popular actor comes out on the street and cruelly reminds us that despite his fame and wealth, there are still places where his skin tone and sexual orientation endanger him.
It was a story of black and openly gay actor Jussie Smollett bouncing around the world after reporting to the Chicago Police Department that he was a victim of hate crimes.
Almost three years later, Smollett is about to be tried on suspicion that he has performed everything.
He was charged with felony chaotic acts after law enforcement and prosecutors said they lied to police about what happened early in the morning of January 29, 2019 in downtown Chicago. He pleaded not guilty. Jury selection will begin on Monday. Class 4 felony chaotic acts can be sentenced to up to three years in prison, but experts are subject to probation and perhaps social service if Smollett is convicted. It says it’s likely.
Smoret told police that on his way home from a sandwich shop on the subway at 2 am, two men who admitted him on the TV show Empire began throwing racial and homosexual slurs. He said the man hit him, wrapped a makeshift rope around his neck and shouted, “This is the country of MAGA.” This is a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
His reaction to the reported assault emphasized an increasingly polarized political situation. Democratic politicians and others call it a shocking example of Trump era prejudice and hatred, and Republicans are rushing to portray liberals as presidential supporters as racial discriminators. Blame.
Only a few weeks later, there was a surprising announcement that Smollett was charged with launching an attack to promote his career and secure a higher salary. Police said he hired two brothers from Nigeria and pretended to attack him for $ 3,500.
This made Smollett’s spotlight even brighter, but this time he was accused of being willing to use one of the strongest racist symbols in the United States to promote his career. rice field.
“If that’s true, the most sneaky and sneaky part of it is the rope,” said Judge John Fitzgerald Like Jr., a black man, during Smollett’s first appearance. “The symbol is reminiscent of such evil in the history of this country.”
Smollett has also become a national punch line. He was the subject of the “Saturday Night Live” skit, and many black celebrities took turns teasing him, from NBA analyst Charles Barkley to comedian Dave Chappelle.
Then there was anger that Smollett’s fame influenced him, but it doesn’t reach most people. Cook County lawyer Kim Foxx reportedly contacted members of Smoret’s family early in the investigation at the request of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s former Chief of Staff. After Fox withdrew from the case, her office suddenly withdrew the indictment, and Fox was in the midst of a media fire when she refuted the proposal that her office gave the TV star a break. I noticed that I was there.
All of this set the stage for what turned Smollett’s innocent or guilty simple question into a complex legal story that has been going on for nearly three years.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cases were suspended nationwide for several months, and the trial was partially postponed. But it was also prosecuted, withdrawn, and re-indicted by a special counsel who was brought in to take over the case.
Smollett’s career has faded since then, but this week he’s back in the spotlight of the media, but this time he’s passing through the news camera forest when he goes in and out of court.
The producer of “Empire”, in which he starred for four years, renewed his contracts for the sixth and final seasons in 2019, but he never appeared in the episode. Also, he has not released music or performed important music performances.
However, he directed an independent film funded by his own production company, premiered at this month’s American Black Film Festival. The movie “B-Boy Blues” is an adaptation of the first 1994 novel in a series about the lives of gay black men in New York.
But when you enter court, the short film may sound like a bad movie, just for the simple reason that the authorities were trying to make Smollett.
The main witnesses are brothers Abin Bora and Orabinjo Osundiro, who say Smollett wrote a check to launch the attack. They are expected to characterize Smollett as the star and director of the “attack” with a panoramic view of surveillance cameras that Smollett mistakenly believed to record the entire event.
And, according to their lawyers, the brothers also explain how Smollett drove them to where the case was supposed to be performed for a “dress rehearsal.”
“He was telling them,’This is the camera, there’s the camera, and this is where you run away,'” said their lawyer, Gloria Rodriguez.
Associated Press reporter Andrew Dalton contributed from Los Angeles.
Check out the full coverage of the AP in the Jussie Smollett case.
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Trial set initiated by Smollett on suspicion of forging a racist attack
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