Tyler Perry admits he is looking at the Jussie Smollett case from all sides, and has recently spoken with the star.
Perry posted on his Instagram account about the new evidence surrounding Smollett’s case. The Empire star had initially stated that he was attacked by two men wearing red MAGA hats, purportedly yelling homophobic and racial slurs as they beat Smollett. The Inquisitr reported on Thursday that Smollett is currently in the custody of Chicago police after being indicted for filing a false police report.
The Madea franchise creator’s post includes a photo of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos. The two men went missing in 2003 and 2004 in Naples, Florida, and seem to be classified as endangered. According to The Naples Daily News, Perry, alongside other civil rights activists, have been working to convict Collier County Sherrif’s Office Cpl. Steven Calkins, stating that Calkins murdered Williams while he was in his custody. The wrongful death lawsuit will hold Calkin responsible for the disappearance of both Williams and Santos.
Instead of the Smollett scandal, Perry said that he wished the media would be more receptive to the case of Williams and Santos in regards to police abuse and brutality. Perry became involved with the case of the two men in 2013 — and even offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who had new details about the case. Perry also said in his post that the racial tensions in the U.S. must end, and that he continues to pray for Smollett and his family.
“How I wish that the disappearance of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos could get half as much attention as this Jussie Smollett thing. I have personally spoken to Jussie, and he is adamant that he’s telling the truth,” Perry wrote. “Also, everyone that I know who knows him says that he is not the kind of person who would make up such a horrible and awful thing. Yet the evidence seems to state otherwise. I’m lost for words. To stoke fears and raise racial tensions is wrong in every situation on ALL SIDES! Yet my prayers are still with him and his family and our Nation. CAN WE PLEASE STOP THE HATE!”
A press conference addressing Smollett’s case was held on Thursday by Chicago Police. The officers claim that Smollett’s “bogus” attack against himself was concocted to draw attention to him, after reportedly being dissatisfied with his salary on Empire. Chicago Police also claim the 36-year-old paid $3,500 to stage the alleged hate crime, per People.