Nancy Pelosi decided to delete a tweet from January 29 that showed her support for Empire actor Jussie Smollett amid allegations that he staged his own alleged homophobic and racist attack.
The House speaker had tweeted the following on the day of the alleged attack.
“The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love. I pray that Jussie has a speedy recovery & that justice is served. May we all commit to ending this hate once & for all.”
But now, the tweet has been deleted from her account amid allegations that Smollett, who claimed he was attacked at around 2 a.m. near a subway in Chicago by two ski mask-clad men, faked the brutal attack in order to save his job.
The TV star told police details of the assault, claiming the two men shouted racist and homophobic abuse at him and tied a rope noose around his neck and poured a bleach-like substance on him. He said that the insults used included “this is MAGA country,” “Empire f****t” and “Empire n*****,” according to the Daily Mail. But late last week, new rumors emerged, stating that the openly-gay actor allegedly paid two Nigerian brothers that he met on the set of Empire to help him orchestrate the attack so he could “save his job.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 18, 2019
Investigators now believe that he paid the two men, who had previously worked as extras on the show and were identified as Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, a whopping $3,500 to assault him. One of the brothers has also been confirmed as Smollett’s personal trainer.
“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has, in fact, shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. He added that the police reached out to Smollett’s legal team for a follow-up interview. The actor’s lawyers released a statement denying the claims.
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 18, 2019
They added the Hollywood star had been “further victimized” by the new allegations that he planned his own attack.
“Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” they said.
Before the rumors arose, a wave of support from several celebrities and politicians poured through social media, including from Nancy Pelosi, California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, and New Jersey Democratic Senator Corey Booker.