Jussie Smollett Meet & Greet
Shareif Ziyadat

Chicago PD Blasts Jussie Smollett For Faking Hate Crime To Promote Career

"Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives."

Update: 9:00 am ET (Feb. 21, 2019) -  The Chicago Police Department held a press conference  on Feb. 21, at 9:oo am CT after Jussie Smollett was arrested for filing a false police report. Additionally, police claimed the actor sent fake hate mail to himself in an attempt to "promote his career."

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said. "Why would anyone especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? ... How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?"

Johnson added: "I just wish that the families of gun violence got this much attention because that's really who deserves the kind of attention that we're giving this particular incident."

Original story below...

Jussie Smollett has reportedly been arrested and is in the Chicago Police Department's custody on Thursday (Feb. 21) Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi confirms. He has reportedly been charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

"Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives,"  Guglielmi announced on Twitter. "At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court."

Smollett has been charged three weeks after he told law enforcement that he was the victim of an alleged hate crime. He claimed that two Trump supporters brutally attacked him in the early hours of the morning in Chicago. The assailants allegedly doused him with a liquid substance and hung a noose around his neck before yelling racial and homophobic slurs.

Following his initial statement, police noticed several holes in his statement. After several interrogations, officials interviewed two brothers believed to be involved with the attack. Footage last night proved that the two had purchased several supplies that may have been used at the time of the incident. The newly-surfaced video, along with other evidence obtained by the police, prompted the charges brought against Smollett.

Smollett's attorneys,Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, issued a statement to USA Today, maintaining Smollett's innocence. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

If Smollett is convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

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T.I. Scolds Man For Wearing Gucci Amid Blackface Scandal

Gucci brand might be on a mission to right its wrongs, but T.I. isn't willing to forgive and forget so easily. A month after the luxury fashion brand received backlash for selling a sweater that resembled blackface, T.I. was seen on camera scolding a man for rocking the brand's latest steez.

"Stand up for yourself, brother," T.I. told the man. "It's what's in you, not what's on you. That sh*t ain't shit until we put it on! We make that sh*t fly! Look at me, n***a. I'm fly as a motherf**ker and I ain't got that sh*t on. I look better than you, as a matter of fact." The video was reportedly filmed outside of a bistro earlier this week.

The man hit back, using the argument that T.I. previously owned Gucci items. "They showed me their disrespect, so guess what? I can't do it no more," he said defending himself.

As previously reported, T.I. announced his plans to boycott Gucci in Feb. 2019, after news of the blackface sweater began to circulate. "We ain't going for this 'oops my bad I didn't mean to be racist and disrespectful towards your people' shit!!! Y'all knew wtf y'all was doing and WE AINT GOING FOR IT," he said in a lengthy Instagram post at the time.

In addition to publicly apologizing, Gucci has since launched a new initiative. With help from Dapper Dan and other fashion leaders, the brand announced its Changemakers Council implement and invest in programs that promote diversity and support communities of color. The council will include DeRay McKesson, will.i.am, and writer and activist Brittany Packnett. A Changemakers Fund will donate $5 million to underrepresented communities around the U.S.

“It is imperative that we have a seat at the table to say how we should be represented and reimagined," Dapper Dan said in a statement announcing the initiative. "Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to lead the overall industry toward becoming a better more inclusive one."

We'll see if that convinces T.I. to have a change of heart. In the meantime, check out the video of him scolding a man below.

 

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T.I. droppin Jewels during one of my meetings at the bistro...homie was Gucci Down too... #WrongPlaceWrongTime @troubleman31 @iam_lyriq @theshaderoom @50cent

A post shared by Lyriq (Lye-reek) (@iam_lyriq) on Mar 16, 2019 at 4:24pm PDT

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Shaquille O'Neal His Taking His Music Talents To Miami

Shaquille O’Neal is coming out of retirement, and we're not talking about basketball. Actually, the four-time NBA champ is heading back to Miami to showcase new music. Shaq will reportedly be one of the headliners at the upcoming Miami Music Week this month.

The sports commentator will bring "Shaq's Fun House" to Miami Music Week. The performance will showcase his DJ skills.

"Performing to me is my Game 7," O’Neal, aka DJ Diesel, told The Associated Press. "Game 7, down by one, the city needs you, everybody needs you, the crowd’s going crazy. When you do these music festivals, the kids, they come to do two things — relieve stress and have a great time. Sports and music relieve stress, and I happen to dominate both."

Shaq's passion for Dj-ing dates back to the early 2000s. His "fun house" has previously made appearances during the Super Bowl festivities earlier this year and in Miami in 2018. Shaq is also a platinum-selling rapper. His first studio album, Shaq Diesel, sold one million album units in 1993. His next three studio albums also performed well on Billboard's US R&B chart.

As far as his Miami showcase goes, Shaq said that he isn't worried. "There’s really no pressure," he said. "I was taught since an early age, if people pay to see you perform, just give them a show. When it comes to playing music, you just have to pick the right songs the kids can groove to. Give them some new stuff, give them some old stuff. And when I get up there and I see the bouncing, I just go into the zone. Music and sports are the only things that get me into that zone."

Shaq will join several celebrity guests during Miami Music Week. DJ Diesel will hit the stage in Miami on Mar. 29.

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Buku Abi Fires Back After R. Kelly Posts Birthday Video

Buku Abi has seemingly responded to the media attention surrounding R. Kelly's birthday video message to her earlier this week. Buku requested that no one, including her father, refers to her by "Joann."

"My name is BUKU ABI. Not Joann, not dojo, not '[space] daughter,'" Buku insisted. "Nothing besides Buku will work for me. If you don’t know me personally, please don’t call me anything but Buku or Buku Abi."

While Buku didn't address anyone directly, the message was likely in reference to R. Kelly's video in which he used Buku's government name, Joann, in his birthday wish.

This wouldn't be the first time that Buku Abi has emerged on social media to address the controversy surrounding her father. In Jan. 2019, Buku released a statement amid Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, referring to him as a "monster." During his viral interview with Gayle King, Kelly suggested that Buku had been manipulated by his ex-wife, Drea Kelly, into believing he was a bad person.

Check out Buku Abi's message below.

 

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#RKelly’s daughter has something to say amid her father’s birthday wishes to her 👀😩

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Mar 22, 2019 at 4:59am PDT

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