Jussie Smollet‘s older brother, JoJo penned an op-ed letter defending his sibling and begged the question: what if Jussie is telling the truth?
The essay, written exclusively for BET.com tackles the holes of the case, the Chicago Police Department and its years of corruption, the statement from the Osundarios brothers, as well as the role media played in helping to “convict Jussie in the court of public opinion before he even entered a courtroom.”
“The fact that these two brothers, who in the final hour confessed to attacking my brother yet say it was Jussie who told them to, is all the evidence that the police and the general public needed to be convinced, should be frightening to everyone,” Jojo wrote.
JoJo, who owns a nonprofit aimed at helping disabled people enter the workforce, noted that it was underreported the brothers were arrested for attempted murder but secured a plea deal of aggravated battery.
In late January, the 36-year-old actor was leaving a Subway fast-food restaurant at about 2 AM when he said he was attacked by two MAGA hat-wearing men. They allegedly beat, kicked him shouted racial and homophobic slurs while trying to tie a noose around his neck and pour bleach on him.
Initially, many of the entertainer’s friends took to social media to show support. The Chicago PD alleged the former Empire actor staged the attack because of a financial dispute on the show. JoJo said his brother wasn’t strapped for cash.
“Jussie had actually begun directing episodes of Empire, which brought additional compensation. He worked out a deal with Fox to own 100% of his music masters, released an album, which lead to a sold-out world tour and he donated every cent of ticket sales to charity. He even signed the group, June’s Diary, to his label…To suggest that he staged his own attack to boost a sagging career is ludicrous”
JoJo, who’s the oldest of the Smollett clan, ended his lengthy essay hoping there are some who are willing to give his brother the benefit of the doubt.
“I am simply hoping there are some conscious-minded people out there who, instead of carelessly victim blaming and shaming, want to loudly ask the simple question: “What if Jussie is telling the truth?”