in January 2019, Jussie Smollett reported to police that he was the victim of a racist and hate crime. As the findings of the investigation poured out to the public, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and other law enforcement officials deemed Smollett staged the attack after evidence countered the actor’s testimony.
Since then, Smollett’s supporters have stood by his side as the legal proceedings continue. One backer is Queen Latifah, who expressed her support of the 36-year-old despite the statements and news reports that have been made in the aftermath of Smollett’s charges.
“The guy I’ve seen has always been someone who cares about people, who cares about others, and who’s very kind and who’s always been cool and sweet,” Latifah said on Yahoo News’ “Through Her Eyes” show. The future real estate mogul added that until “definitive proof” appears, then “I gotta go with him until I see otherwise.” Both Latifah and Smollett are part of director Lee Daniels’ hit series creations, Star and Empire, respectively.
In a statement issued to Deadline, Smollett’s attorneys said they plan to enact their own investigation to prove their client’s guiltlessness. “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,” the statement reads. “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
I gotta go with him until I see otherwise.
Snollett currently faces charges of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. The New York Post states his court date is set for March 14.