At this point, aside from some of his former Empire colleagues, it sounds like Jussie Smollett is running out of allies and supporters. The entire fake hate crime affair has reportedly taken a real toll on the actor, allegedly leading him to suffer from night terrors recently. But he’s still got one person solidly in his corner. That would be his brother JoJo, who wants everyone to consider one important question. What if Jussie is telling the truth? (People)
“It has not yet been 90 days since my younger brother, Jussie Smollett, was assaulted on a cold winter night in Chicago. Within less than three months, his life has been turned upside down as my family and I have witnessed him endure unrelenting attacks to his character and reputation,” JoJo wrote…
“Like so many others, this entire process quickly devolved from a focus on him as a victim of assault, to him being falsely accused and held responsible for a crime that was perpetrated against him. To define this experience as unjust would be an understatement,” JoJo said…
“Is that all it takes to destroy a lifelong dedication to one’s craft and community? Is it really that easy to convince the world of a person’s guilt?” JoJo wrote about the media and police allegations. “Is that all it takes to turn someone’s life upside down in America? Simply ask yourself this, ‘What if Jussie is telling the truth?’ ”
Sticking up for one’s sibling is probably the most natural thing in the world, so this doesn’t come as a surprise. But you’ll note that even JoJo doesn’t lead with an unambiguous claim of Jussie’s innocence. He phrases it as a question… what if he’s telling the truth? (To be fair, he does go on later to call the idea that his brother faked the hate crime “ludicrous.”) JoJo also makes the rather remarkable claim that his brother isn’t the sort of person to “seek attention.” I’m not entirely sure if they know each other that well.
As to raising the question of whether Jussie might be telling the truth, what are we to base that on? Nobody else directly involved in the incident or the subsequent investigation seems to think so. Even Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the woman who did Jussie the biggest solid imaginable and endangered her own career in the process, called Smollett a “washed up celebrity who lied to the cops.”
Of course, if Jussie Smollett really wanted to clear his good name and spare his brother these rather embarrassing denials, he could do so. The main reason we’re left in the dark is that the records of the case were sealed in a midnight deal cut by the aforementioned Kim Foxx’s office. The only beneficiary of that action was Jussie, so if he had his attorneys petition the court to unseal the records and release them to the public, a lot of this could probably be cleared up.
But we can’t have that now, can we? Somehow I don’t see Smollett’s fortunes taking a turn for the better if all of those records, interviews, and evidence showed up in the press. Unless and until that happens, I’m afraid most of us will be able to hear JoJo’s question and come up with a quick answer to it. What if he’s not?