Empire actor Jussie Smollett made waves at the end of January when he claimed to have been attacked late one night near his Chicago home by two men yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him. During the attack, he also stated that they had poured bleach on him and tied him up.
Just days later, two brothers, Abimbola (Abel) and Olabinjo (Ola) Osundairo were arrested in connection with the attack. However, it wasn’t long before the police began to suspect falsehood in Smollett’s story, and the Osundairo’s were released shortly afterward without any charges being pressed against them.
Since then, the story has blown up, with Smollett in the hot seat for allegedly staging his own attack for money and fame. Smollett has been arrested and is facing charges of making a false report to the police.
Celebrities have come down on both sides of the fence regarding the attack, with plenty of people slamming him for trying to incite racial hatred, while others have pledged their support. One such person on the latter end of the stick is Queen Latifah.
According to Fox News, Latifah has said she will be sticking by Smollett unless evidence of his guilt can be provided.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 5, 2019
“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. And that’s just the guy I know. So until I can see some definitive proof – which I haven’t seen yet – then, you know, I gotta go with him until I see otherwise,” she explained of her stance on the controversial matter.
Latifah is hopeful that “everything works out in the end and everybody basically comes out unscathed.”
So far, it looks unlikely that no one will be hurt by the incident. Smollett has already been removed from the last two episodes of Empire, although the studio seems hesitant at this point to cut ties completely with the actor.
Smollett’s co-stars have apparently expressed their wish that he be removed from the series completely, according to a previous report by The Inquisitr.
Smollett is believed to have paid the Osundairo brothers to attack him, and one bit of information the police have suggests that one of the brothers is actually the actor’s drug dealer. While the Osundairo’s seem to be free so long as they cooperate with the police investigation into Smollett, the actor had to take out a $100,000 bond to make bail.