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Views Are Shifting on Jussie Smollett Case

Police hope to re-interview the 'Empire' actor
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2019 1:53 PM CST
Updated Feb 18, 2019 3:18 PM CST
A 2016 photo of actor Jussie Smollett.   (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – The ever-twisting Jussie Smollett case is reportedly headed to a grand jury amid allegations that the actor orchestrated a fake attack on himself with the assistance of two Nigerian brothers. Smollett insists it wasn't a hoax, but don't expect quick resolution. Chicago police want to re-interview the Empire actor, but his attorney says that won't happen Monday, reports ABC Chicago. Attorney Todd Pugh did not say when any such interview might happen, but he said Smollett's lawyers "will keep an active dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf." Meanwhile, the case remains a hot topic:

  • Chicagoan's doubts: Nana Efua Mumford, executive assistant to the editorial board at the Washington Post, is a Chicago native who writes that her hometown has a "deep, dark racist history." She wants to believe Smollett, but she's had doubts from the start. For starters, the assailants are walking around Chicago in 10-degree weather at 2am with bleach just hoping to find a victim? If it does turn out to be a hoax, this "will cause irreparable damage to the communities most affected," she writes. "It would be the very embodiment of 'fake news.'"
  • Need a recap? Vox has an explainer on the whole story from day one, including Smollett's ties to the Nigerian brothers, one of whom was once his personal trainer.
  • Robin Roberts: The Good Morning America host on Monday defended her interview with Smollett last week, in which he criticized his doubters. “When I sat down with Jussie it was Tuesday night in Chicago, at the time to give his first account, publicly give his first account of what he said happened,” Roberts said, per Fox News. “At that time, on Tuesday, police officers were saying that his account was consistent, it was credible, and that he was being cooperative." News about the alleged hoax surfaced later.

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