The controversy centering around “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, 36, has gained a lot of attention in recent days. After fabricating a story about himself being a victim of a brutal hate crime involving Trump supporters, the Chicago Police Department filed charges against him.
The police reportedly obtained evidence confirming that Smollett orchestrated the entire event by paying two friends to beat him. Although an official motive has not been identified, authorities believe Smollett was unhappy with his salary on “Empire.” According to Forbes, the cast member made a whopping $125,000 per episode.
Other theories about why Smollett took the lie so far include supporting the liberal’s anti-Trump agenda or simply a publicity stunt. Before it was revealed that Smollett was lying, he allegedly received multiple job offers. This also could have been a potential motive.
However, according to Smollett’s attorney, the “Empire” star is still staying adamant about his innocence. The Grand Jury recently returned 16 felony accounts against Smollett, but that did not change Smollett’s narrative, reported CNN.
“This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy in tampering with his medical records,” Smollett’s attorney said in a statement.
“Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption,” he continued, also referring to the indictment as "prosecutorial overkill."
Technically, he faces a hefty prison sentence if convicted of all 16 counts. But, it is more likely that he will reach a deal to avoid prison time.
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