Actor Jussie Smollett Appears Outside Of Court After It Was Announced That All Charges Have Been Dropped Against Him
Actor Jussie Smollett speaks with members of the media after his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. This morning in court it was announced that all charges were dropped against the actor.
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Jussie Smollett Indicted Again For Alleged Hate Crime Hoax

With a special prosecutor handling the case, the actor faces six counts of making false reports for the Chicago 2019 incident.

Jussie Smollett is now facing six new charges in relation to the infamous incident where the actor allegedly staged a hate crime on himself. The charges were announced on Tuesday (Feb. 11) by a grand jury in Chicago, The New York Times reports. Since the summer of 2019, the case has been in the hands of special prosecutor Dan. K Webb, who was assigned after a judge determined Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx did not conduct it properly the first time.

The former Empire actor's charges consist of making false police reports for the January 2019 incident. Police claim Smollett planned the attack with brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo in hopes of gaining publicity while adding to the cultural conversation around racial tension.

"Based on the recommendation of the OSP (Office of the Special Prosecutor), a Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Jussie Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime," Webb said.

Smollett was believed to be attacked by the brothers, who appeared to be brawn Caucasian supporters of President Donald Trump. The brothers used homophobic and racial slurs as they yelled, “This is MAGA country" and placed a noose around the actor's neck. After the incident, Smollett was met with sympathy from celebrities and the general public. The praise didn't last long as investigators talked to the brothers who confessed to working alongside Smollett. The actor has denied all involvement while the Osundairo brothers maintain that Smollett allegedly orchestrated the attack because of unequal pay on Empire.

Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, a representative for the Osundairo brothers, shared a statement with CNN about the charges.

"As stated before, they are fully committed to the public knowing the truth about what occurred on January 29, 2019," she said. "The Osundairo brothers will continue to cooperate with that process and they thank the Special Prosecutor's office for their tireless work in seeing that justice was administered."

Smollett was initially handed a 16 count indictment that included disorderly conduct charges. Foxx dropped the charges in March 2019 after Smollett completed community service and paid upwards of $10,000 in bail. The action was met with immediate backlash and the city sued the actor for $130,000. Protesters also called for Foxx to step down from her position.

Smollett's attorneys have slammed the case, claiming the charges were delivered in "bad faith" with unreliable testimonies from the Osundairo brothers. They also questioned the evidence like a check that was suggested to be payment for the attack. Smollett stated the payment was for personal training sessions as the actor was preparing for a music video.

The case has gone on to be mocked and critiqued by the likes of Dave Chappelle and was the inspiration for a recent episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 

Smollett will return to court Feb. 24.

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Movie producer Harvey Weinstein (R) enters New York City Criminal Court on February 24, 2020 in New York City.
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Harvey Weinstein To Be Sentenced In March Following Guilty Rape Conviction

Harvey Weinstein was found guilty on Monday (Feb. 24) of rape and a felony sex crime with his sentencing arriving next month. According to the New York Times, the 67-year-old was also acquitted of two additional charges of predatory sexual assault.

As the jury found Weinstein guilty of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, he reportedly looked ahead in an "unmoved" fashion. While over 80 women have accused Weinstein of assault spanning decades, the case focused on the testimonies of six women which included Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Young. Four of the cases were reportedly too old to prosecute due to New York's statute of limitations but they did help illustrate Weinstein's disturbing pattern of sexual abuse toward young actresses and models.

Weinstein and the women who spoke up against him catapulted the Time's Up Foundation and Me Too movements. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Tina Tchen, president and CEO of the Time's Up Foundation, called the guilty verdict a new era of justice.

“This trial -- and the jury’s decision today -- marks a new era of justice, not just for the Silence Breakers, who spoke out at great personal risk, but for all survivors of harassment, abuse, and assault at work," Tchen said. "We owe a debt of gratitude to Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Young and all the Silence Breakers for their bravery and resolve as they faced this man in court. We continue to believe them -- all of them -- and continue to be in solidarity with them."

The movement transcended industries with sexual assault survivors speaking out against sexual harassment in the workplace. Dating back to 2015, many attempted to get the work out about Weinstein but were met with blocks from those aligned with the movie producer or outlets like NBC simply not ready to publish the accounts of assault.

It wasn't until Rowan Farrow's reporting of Weinstein in 2017 that propelled many actresses to also share their encounters with the producer. With accounts from former actress Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong'o, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek, the incidents kicked off a domino effect against Weinstein.

Weinstein will be sentenced on March 11. He also faces more charges in Los Angeles related to two cases of sexual assault from Feb. 2013. If convicted of those charges, he can face up to 28 years in prison.

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"A Celebration Of Life For Kobe And Gianna Bryant" Takes Place At Staples Center

On Monday (Feb. 24), a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The ceremony honors their lives weeks after a devastating helicopter crash occurred on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California, that also took the lives of seven other people aboard the aircraft. According to The Washington Post, nearly 20,000 people are slated to attend the service. Ticket sales will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.

The basketball legend's wife and mother of his children, Vanessa Bryant, previously posted a message to her angels on Instagram and said the family will take things one day at a time. "I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved," she wrote. "We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way."


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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on Jan 29, 2020 at 4:59pm PST


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To my forever Valentine, I love you so much. Missing you so much on your favorite holiday. Te amo per sempre. Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven. Happy Valentine’s Day, my babies. With all my love, your boo-boo. ❤️song: Tell Him @mslaurynhill

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on Feb 14, 2020 at 1:43pm PST


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#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together ❤️❤️💜💛

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on Feb 7, 2020 at 9:49am PST

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Katherine Johnson, Famed NASA Mathematician, Dies At 101

On Monday morning (Feb. 24), news surfaced of famed mathematician Katherine Johnson's passing at age 101. The pioneer in science and math was memorialized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where she worked in 1953 before retiring in 1986.

"We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson," the statement reads. "Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers."

We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson. Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers:

— NASA (@NASA) February 24, 2020

Throughout her tenure at NASA, Johnson worked on equations and solutions to aid in successful flight missions. It wasn't until 1962 that her skills placed her in an upper echelon of mathematicians for her work during astronaut John Glenn's orbital mission. The moment was depicted in a book authored by Margot Lee Shetterly titled Hidden Figures. In 2017, a film of the same name was created and broke records for its real-life storytelling.

In an interview with The Guardian, actress Taraji P. Henson who portrayed Johnson onscreen, said upon meeting the legendary figure, she realized how much they had in common. “When I met [Johnson], the way she talked about maths, the way her eyes lit up, that’s how I feel about acting," she said. "I understand her passion; you can replace that with anything.”

Cemented alongside her other achievements, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2015.

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