Jussie Smollett breaks silence, maintains innocence in interview: ‘This is bullsh*t’

The former 'Empire' star told Marc Lamont Hill that he did not stage a homophobic and racist attack

It has been nearly two years since Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack and to this day he says it happened.

In a rare interview via Instagram Live with activist and author Marc Lamont Hill on Wednesday, the actor and activist opens up about why he has been silent for the past year and how he feels about the narrative that says he staged his attack for attention.

Jussie Smollett thegrio.com
Actor Jussie Smollett after his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. This morning in court it was announced that all charges were dropped against the actor. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

In regards to why he has stayed quiet over the past year, the actor says it wasn’t by choice.

Read More: An open letter in solidarity with Jussie Smollett and all targeted by police misconduct

“It’s been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” he says as reported by People Magazine. “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It’s so much bigger than me.”


Back in 2019, the former Empire actor alleged he was attacked one evening in what he believed was a hate crime. But the tables were turned quickly on the Black and openly gay star when police accused him of lying about his attack. Outpouring support for Smollett quickly turned sour when he was hit with 16 counts of disorderly conduct and charged with filing a fake police report.

All of the charges against Smollett have since been dropped.

Smollett has a history of activism in support of the Black and LGBTQ community. He comes from a successful family of artists and says it is not “his job” to convince critics that he did not do this. Many say he staged his own attack for publicity and wanted to advance his career but Smollet says his family has received numerous deaths threats and that this situation is bigger than losing a “job or a gig.”

Jussie Smollett thegrio.com
(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Read More: Jussie Smollett lawyers claim recording evidence can prove his innocence

Around the 23-minute mark on the Instagram Live Smollett tells Hill, “this is bullshit.”

“No one understands what we have gone through and the people that do their voices are continuously silenced as well.”

Smollett goes on to say, “they will always try to silence the people who are simply speaking the truth, and you need to start asking yourself, why is that?”

He adds, “Why is it so important to silence the people who are simply telling the truth…we paint those people as the liars but the liars are the ones who are projecting.”

As the nearly 30-minute interview comes to an end Smollett closes by reiterating that he has not lied.

“I have never told anything but the truth,” he says.

“I love my people…I am a Black man, I am a same gender-loving man…who leads with his Blackness. The last thing I want to do is be portrayed as a victim.”

Watch the full interview below.

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