Jussie Smollett’s sister, Jurnee Smollett, is speaking out for the first time since her brother’s nationwide scandal. The “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey” actress maintains her brother’s innocence.
In early 2019, Jussie was accused of staging his own hate crime and then lying about it to law enforcement. As the case continues to go through the legal system, Jurnee is speaking out about the controversy for the first time.
During an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Jurnee, 33, spoke about the impact of the incident on her family. “It’s been f——g painful,” she said. “One of the most painful things my family’s ever experienced — to love someone as much as we love my brother, and to watch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating.”
As for Jurnee, she says the incident happened during a difficult time in her own life. “I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I’ve tried to not let it make me pessimistic,” she said. “But everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother.”
Jurnee says that those close to her brother believe his version of the events as well. “We are blessed to have a community of people who know him,” she says, “and know that he wouldn’t do this.”
Jurnee Smollett on What Jussie Has Been Up To
Not only did Jurnee speak on her brother’s innocence but also she expressed strong admiration for him. “I mean, f–k, man, I look at him sometimes and I’m like, ‘He’s so strong,'” she said.
Since making national headlines over the scandal, Jurnee says her brother stays busy. “He’s staying creative, as creatives do,” she says, “singing, writing, working on music.”
In January 2019, Jussie claimed two men assaulted him. While on the way back to his Chicago apartment, Jussie claims the men yelled homophobic and racist slurs at him. He says the men then put a noose around his neck and threw a substance at him.
After an investigation into the issue, law enforcement accused the actor of staging the incident. In March of 2019, Jussie was dropped from “Empire” and indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct. He later pleaded guilty to the charges.
[H/T Hollywood Reporter]