"Empire" star Jussie Smollett said he was attacked in an alleged hate crime incident on January 29th of 2019 by two men in the early morning. Then he was indicted on charges he staged the attack. Then all the charges were dropped.
If you had a hard time keeping up with all the developments, you're not alone. Here's a brief summary of the timeline:
Jussie Smollett is attacked.
On January 29th, two men attacked Jussie around 2 a.m. hitting, and yelling, racial/homophobic slurs at him. He then drove himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was treated and in "good condition."
Police begin their search.
January 30th, at least a dozen detectives are set to work on the case to find the suspects. Part of their search included studying nearby security footage.
Back to performing.
Febraury 2, Smollett performs a concert in California, claiming he "couldn't let his attackers win."
February 12, Smollett wouldn't turn over all of his phone records because he wanted to protect the privacy of other contacts not involved in the incident.
A staged attack.
February 16, it was reported that Chicago police begin investigating whether or not the Empire actor staged his own attack and paid the two potential suspects to carry it out. He was officially named a suspect on February 20.
March 8, a grand jury indicts Jussie Smollett for 16 counts of disorderly conduct.
All charges dropped.
March 26, all 16 charges were dropped due to the evidence not being enough to win the case, allegedly.
With this brief timeline, here's what we know. The media was all over this case. I left what I felt were smaller details out of the case because there was almost a daily development in the investigation. Jussie was attacked by two men, an extra from Empire, and the extras brother. Eventually, phone records were revealed to show Jussie was in contact with both men before the attack. He claimed the communication was for nutrition and fitness advice, but that's a little hard to believe. Once the 16 charges were brought for allegedly faking his attack, they have dropped shortly after. With other recent events like "Operation Varsity Blues," this looks extremely suspect.
Media interference made it difficult to not jump straight to the conclusion that this attack was a hoax. I have been following this case and once it was stated that it was possible that he staged the attack, pieces started to fall into place (in my opinion). Using the evidence we were given, it makes sense that he would stage the attack if he felt he wasn't being paid enough, or needed a larger fan base. He also was not severely beaten. In this sort of case, it would only make sense that he was jumped, not punched once in the face (from what I gathered from news sources it was only one time), and then had a noose wrapped around his neck and left alone. Then he was able to drive himself to the hospital. In my opinion, if this were a real attack, he would have more severe injuries.
The previous contact with the two men doesn't look any better considering the timing. How is it that they knew he was going to be getting off a Subway at 2 a.m.? This makes it easier to believe this was staged. Fast forwarding passed the charges, once they were dropped so much confusion followed. The media made it seem like he was guilty and that the case was an easy win based off of the evidence that was provided. Instead, all of a sudden the charges are dropped and it's difficult to not assume that the reasoning behind that is his influence both financially and his level of fame.
I believe there's more to this story than what we have been given since "Empire" has recently reinstated him, I will also stand with him mainly because his trial didn't seem like it was very fair due to media involvement and we are all guaranteed a fair trial.