Discussion in 'Celebrity Scuttlebutt' started by Gabriel Maxwell, Jan 29, 2019.
All they need is a fireplace...
What really pisses me off is that most hate crimes receive little to no press coverage; I remember when Matthew Shephard was attacked and died and the press covered it as if nothing like it have ever occurred before. Thanks to Smollett future victims of hate crimes may be doubted.
Good luck with that.
If Jussie wasn't able to create a racial incident by making it up (and most people, black and white, soon realized he was lying) it looks like he'll create one by going through the back door.... Should the Chicago cops have been less sympathetic to him in the beginning? Are we going to release every black person charged in Chicago to balance out police brutality incidents?
God, EMPIRE, is dank and drab beyond belief. Has been for a long time.
'Black-ish' star Anthony Anderson wants Jussie Smollett to win at NAACP Image Awards
As Smollett is nominated for the 2019 NAACP Image Awards, six-time host and 'Black-ish' star Anthony Anderson said he hopes to see the controversial actor win the award
While controversial TV star Jussie Smollett is nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his role on 'Empire', it is unclear if he will attend the Saturday event at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood amid the ongoing backlash over his widely slammed alleged hate crime hoax.
Nonetheless, longtime host Anthony Anderson hopes the actor will make an appearance and win the accolade, Variety reports.
Speaking to the outlet during a preview of the awards show, the 'Black-ish' star said he "hoped to see him" at the event. “I hope he wins. I’m happy for him that the system worked for him in his favor because the system isn’t always fair, especially for people of color," he said.
“So I’m glad it worked out for him,” Anderson continued. “It’s not my place or any other person’s place to judge him or what not, but I’m glad he’s nominated…I hope he wins because I’d be interested to hear his speech.”
The Image Awards is being held for the first time at the Dolby, the home of the Oscars, on its 50th anniversary.
“I think it’s grown every year and this is the culmination of that growth,” Anderson said. “When I took over six years ago I always wanted to move it from its location to the Dolby Theater. And here we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NAACP Image Awards as I envisioned it. I couldn’t think of a better place, a better venue, a better moment in time to celebrate the 50th year.”
Addressing reporters after the charges were dropped, Smollett said, “I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since Day 1. It’s been an incredibly difficult time. One of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this, I just wouldn’t. Now I would like nothing more than to just to get back to work and get on with my life."
However, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a different story to tell during a joint press conference later that day, USA Today reports.
"This is a whitewash of justice," Emanuel said, criticizing prosecutors and upholding allegations of Smollett's guilt. "It’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax. He’s still saying he's innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department. How dare he? How dare he? It is wrong. Full stop."
“At the end of the day, Mr. Smollett committed this hoax,” Superintendent Johnson said. "Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology."
Chicago seeks to recoup $130,000 from Jussie Smollett as war of words heats up
The demand that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pay Chicago back for an alleged hate crime hoax despite being cleared of criminal charges punctuated an increasingly heated war of words Thursday that stretched to the White House and New York.
The day began with President Donald Trump tweeting that the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI were “to review” what happened in the Smollett investigation, which ended in stunning fashion Tuesday when Cook County prosecutors dropped all charges alleging he’d staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself.
After Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was going to try to force Smollett to pony up for the costs of the police investigation, Smollett’s lawyers countered by saying city officials were the ones who owed an apology.
And from New York, Smollett’s attorney, Mark Geragos, in town for a trial, accused Emanuel of “acting literally unhinged” in his criticism of Smollett, saying the investigation was fatally flawed and was dropped because it was “going to become embarrassing.”
The developments indicated that the fallout from the politically charged case — which has captured worldwide attention since the attack was first reported two months ago — may be far from over.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx continued to take heat for her office’s handling of the case as two prosecutors’ associations blasted the secretive fashion in which the case was resolved.
After Trump tweeted earlier in the morning that he would tell the FBI to investigate how Smollett’s charges were dropped, Emanuel, appearing on WGN Radio, called on the president to “just sit this out.”
“… I take umbrage that you have a person sitting in the Oval Office who drew a moral equivalency in Virginia between those who were fighting bigotry and those who were perpetuating bigotry,” said Emanuel, citing Trump’s reaction to a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
Hours later, the city notified Smollett’s attorneys by letter of its demand he pay $130,106 — the cost of the police overtime hours expended in the investigation.
If Smollett does not pay, the letter warned, the city “may prosecute you for making a false statement to the city.”
“The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department take seriously those who make false statements to the police, thereby diverting resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system,” the letter signed by Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel said.
While stopping short of committing to such a move, Bill McCaffrey, the city’s Law Department spokesman, said the city has “a lengthy and successful track record” of suing to recover funds under a statute that makes people liable for costs incurred by the city to provide services related to their violation of the law.
“It is a small way of both acknowledging, one, guilt, two, that we spent these resources, and the taxpayers deserve, at minimum … that actually we’re going to get the resources back,” Emanuel said in the radio interview.
Later Thursday, Smollett’s defense team released a statement lashing out at Emanuel.
“It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie … an apology — for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud,” the statement said. “Jussie has paid enough.”
On Tuesday, Cook County prosecutors abruptly dropped a 16-count indictment accusing Smollett of orchestrating a Jan. 29 racist and homophobic attack on himself to advance his career. In dismissing the case, prosecutors said they had cut a deal with the actor to perform two days of community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the city of Chicago.
The unusual move caught Chicago police brass by surprise and brought swift condemnation from Emanuel, who called it a “whitewash of justice.”
Smollett, who is African-American and openly gay, has said he was walking from a Subway sandwich shop to his apartment in the 300 block of East North Water Street about 2 a.m. Jan. 29 when two men walked up, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Smollett said they also poured a bleachlike substance on him and yelled, "This is MAGA country," in reference to Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."
Smollett’s allegations made worldwide headlines, but questions arose about his story.
Police initially treated the incident as a hate crime, but their focus turned to Smollett after the two brothers who were alleged to have been his attackers told police that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with a promise of an additional $500 later.
Foxx, who was elected in late 2016 on a reform platform, has come under withering criticism, including from other prosecutors. On Thursday, the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association said she has “failed in her most fundamental ethical obligations to the public.”
The group, which says it represents nearly 1,000 prosecutors statewide, also called the dismissal of the charges — without any admission of guilt by Smollett — “an affront to prosecutors across the state” as well as police, victims of hate crimes and Cook County as a whole.
While not mentioning Foxx by name, the National District Attorneys Association also took the office to task on the same issue.
“The case in Chicago illustrates a point that must be discussed in an effort to ensure fairness in our criminal justice system: the rich are treated differently, the politically connected receive favorable treatment, and Lady Justice sometimes peeks under her blindfold to see who stands before her,” the group said in a statement.
Spokespeople for Foxx’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the criticism.
The state prosecutors’ association also faulted Cook County prosecutors for not objecting to a defense request to immediately seal the court file at Tuesday’s brief, unannounced hearing. By Tuesday evening, all traces of the case had been deleted from court records.
In an interview Wednesday with the Tribune, Foxx said she believed the case file had only been sealed due to a misunderstanding — and that the seal did not apply to the entire court file. Nevertheless, she said, the case file would be unsealed.
However, on Thursday, an office spokeswoman backed off that claim, saying the case file would remain under seal in its entirety by court order.
Amid all the secrecy, word spread at the Leighton Criminal Court Building since the dismissal of the charges that Smollett’s attorneys might be taking it a step further by seeking to expunge the court file.
To block that from happening, attorneys for the Tribune and other media organizations moved quickly, going to court Thursday to keep records from being destroyed if Smollett’s legal team suddenly sought to expunge his criminal case.
At a hearing, Natalie Spears, the Tribune’s attorney, told Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. that she had learned outside of the courtroom from a lawyer for Smollett that the defense did not plan to seek to expunge the record.
Later, another Smollett lawyer issued a statement reinforcing that the defense would not seek to destroy the records in the case.
“We support the court files being preserved,” said the statement from Patricia Brown Holmes. “We have not and will not file a motion for destruction of any records in this case.”
Yet if the case were expunged, no records would be destroyed, Martin, the presiding judge of the criminal division, clarified for the lawyers.
“That isn’t what we do in Cook County,” Martin said in an animated monologue from the bench.
Expunging the case would eliminate any public record that Smollett had ever been charged.
Oh please. Jussie is a compulsive liar and he's also delusional. Thinking he could get away with it in the first place, and then thinking he could still convince people he was innocent after the charges were dropped. And anyone who believes him is delusional too.
Yes. Jussie's defenders like to remind people that he's a "person of color," as if that fact alone proves his innocence. Yes, the justice system hasn't always been fair to black people, but does that mean they should escape justice when they're guilty? That's why I hate that tribal mentality. It emphasizes protecting your own, no matter how guilty they may be.
This is a pretty comprehensive telling of the story and it was good to get some background on Jussie to better understand his motives. Being the entitled narcissist that he is, I'm sure he expected his album to be a huge success and catapult him to superstardom. And he is a very talented singer, very good looking, and on a number 1 hit show, so I can see why he expected to be more famous than he was. Well, he's certainly famous now. Some of the memes they showed at the end were hilarious.
Empire creator: Jussie Smollett 'will not be returning'
Jussie Smollett will not be returning to Empire, the show's co-creator Lee Daniels has now confirmed.
Responding to claims that writers were preparing for Smollett's comeback, Daniels tweeted: "Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire."
The actor was accused of staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself in January - which he's always denied.
But since the incident there's been speculation over his future on the show.
Daniels's tweet is the first public confirmation that Smollett will definitely not be coming back for the sixth and final season.
Replying to @Variety @JoeOtterson This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire. -LD
In April, TV Network Fox confirmed Empire had been renewed for a sixth season and the studio had "negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season six," adding, there were no immediate "plans for the character of Jamal to return".
Smollett has been on the show since the first season in 2015.
His character was written out for the final two episodes of season five following the allegations and fans have been waiting to hear confirmation about his return ever since.
But now it's official - Jussie is out.
Daniels has previously spoken of the "pain and anger and sadness and frustration" that Smollett's case has caused him and the Empire cast.
In a letter to Fox executives and series producers on 19 April, Empire cast members expressed support for Smollett, writing: "Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire."
It's been a complicated case to keep up with:
On 29 January Smollett claimed he was attacked by two masked men, who the actor said made reference to MAGA (make America great again) - the slogan often used by President Donald Trump and his supporters
On 14 February brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo were arrested by Chicago police and questioned. They had worked as extras on Empire
A few days later the brothers were released by police without charge and, on 20 February, Jussie Smollett was charged with filing a false police report
Smollett was arrested and police say he paid the Osundairo brothers to stage the attack
On 1 March the Osundairos said they "regret" their involvement in the incident
Two weeks later, Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct - and 12 days after that all charges against him were controversially dropped
Despite the charges being dropped, Chicago police repeated accusations that Smollett "orchestrated" the attack and ordered him to pay $130,000 (£99,000) to compensate for the manpower used investigating his alleged assault.
The City of Chicago have sued Smollett, after he refused to pay the amount and he has continued to deny the allegations.
Addressing the final season earlier this week, Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, told reporters: "One of the great benefits of announcing a final season is to allow the fans to lean in and to have the ending they deserve, and that's everything we're trying to do with this iconic series.
"Six years is a pretty remarkable run for a drama series and we feel good about it."
Representatives for Fox have been approached for comment.
Empire returns later this year.
Wow. He got the whole goddamned show cancelled.
So you reckon the decision to make the 6th season the final one was all down to the Jussie debacle? It does seem strange that the makers of a soap which, as far as I know, is still a big hit would just decide to call it quits, but they also could have just written him out and carried on without him.
There's been a ratings drop since all the Jussie stuff happened, although I don't know by how much (even I stopped watching it in March). They may have just decided too much damage had been done to the brand.
I also question if outside influence has Empire coming to an end. Disney now owns 21st Century Fox right? Perhaps the producers have had enough from media asking "will he,won't he" be returning to Empire. Or it could be something as simple as Empire nearing its natural end.
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