'Empire' Actor Jussie Smollett Out On $100,000 Bail After False Police Report Hearing

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Actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles, May 20, 2016. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles, May 20, 2016. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

With David Folkenflik

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett is accused of staging an attack against himself in downtown Chicago last month.


Clay Cane, host of SiriusXM’s “The Clay Cane Show." Author of "Live Through This: Surviving the Intersections of Sexualtiy, God, and Race." (@claycane)

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Washington Post: "Jussie Smollett isn’t the reason black LGBT hate-crime victims aren’t believed" — "Even before 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett was criminally charged for allegedly making a false report that he was the victim of a violent hate crime, the hand-wringing over the damage to the credibility of hate-crime victims had already begun: Observers worried that the case could “cause irreparable damage to the communities most affected,” make it 'even harder' for genuine victims to speak up and embolden 'those who are inclined to dismiss prejudice in America as a manufactured crisis.' But anyone who’s looking to dismiss prejudice or play down the targeting of black people in the LGBT community doesn’t need Smollett.

"To be clear: If his story is proved to be a hoax, there’s no justification. I’m black and gay, and I was saddened when I heard the initial reports that Smollett said he was attacked. But if he made it all up, I wouldn’t defend him for it. Black LGBT hate-crime victims, though, have always struggled to be believed. To suggest that their credibility turns on whether his story is fabricated is its own kind of hoax."

Associated Press: "‘Empire’ actor charged with making false police report" — "'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett was charged Wednesday with making a false police report when he said he was attacked in downtown Chicago by two men who hurled racist and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck, police said.

"Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said prosecutors charged Smollett with felony disorderly conduct, an offense that could bring one to three years in prison and force the actor to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating.

"Authorities were trying to get in touch with Smollett’s attorneys to 'negotiate a reasonable surrender,' Guglielmi said. That could involve the actor, who is black and gay, turning himself in to a Chicago police station."

With reporting from The Associated Press

This article was originally published on February 21, 2019.

This segment aired on February 22, 2019.



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