Jussie Smollett may have avoided jail time but he’s still a long way away from repairing the reputation he had before his drawn-out legal saga. The Empire actor was a suspect for months in what the Chicago Police Department believed to be a falsified hate crime. He previously claimed to be the victim of a racist and homophobic attack while walking alone in downtown Chicago at night. Law enforcement claimed that he made up the entire ordeal to draw further attention to him and his career. In a shocking turn of events, all 16 felony disorderly charges against him were dropped. Now Smollett is working on convincing those who are still dubious of his innocence, according to Fox News.
The star fled out of his home city of Chicago to Los Angeles where he is living for the time being. A spokesperson for Smollett gave a report on Saturday about how the actor is faring in wake of his dramatic past few months. The spokesperson claimed that Smollett is doing “pretty well” but still hoping to be exonerated by the public once “once all the information comes out.”
“He is focusing on his work here in L.A.,” the spokesperson told The Chicago Sun Times.
He went on to describe Smollett’s excitement for the upcoming episode of Empire that will premiere on Wednesday. The episode will feature the wedding of Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon and Kai Givens, who is played by African American actor Toby Onwumere. This will be a history-making episode and for Smollett, who is both African American and openly gay, the episode means a lot. Smollett’s spokesperson stated that the actor had pushed for the on-air wedding to take place for a long time.
“[Smollett] is very proud of the wedding episode this week and the history it will make as the first time two African American men have been married on television. This was an emotional time for him because he had lobbied for this wedding to happen for a long time.”
Of course, Smollett’s legal woes are far from over. It was revealed earlier this month that the actor is being sued by the state of Chicago for the cost of the pricey police investigation surrounding his case, according to CNN. He was asked to pay $130,106.15, which he has yet to do. A lawsuit was later filed in the Cook County court against Smollett for his failure to pay. It describes the resources that were used as well as the many investigators and detectives that devoted countless hours to the case.