Jussie Smollett makes first red carpet appearance since alleged 2019 attack

Smollett's film, "B-Boy Blues", is an adaptation of the Black LGBTQ+-focused novel of the same name.

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At the premiere of his latest film, B-Boy Blues, Jussie Smollett made his first red carpet appearance since his alleged 2019 hate crime attack.

B-Boy Blues, an adaptation of James Earl Hardy‘s 1994 book of the same name, is Smollett’s directorial debut. The film, which stars Timothy Richardson, Ledisi, Brandee Evans, Broderick Hunter, Marquise Vilson, and Thomas Mackie as Raheim, premiered at AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 in New York City Friday evening. Filmmakers are currently seeking a distributor for the adaptation.

"B-Boy Blues" New York Screening
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 19: Jussie Smollett (C) and guests attend the New York Screening of “B-Boy Blues” at AMC Magic Johnson Harlem on November 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

The film’s official description reads: “Class and culture clash when a college-educated journalist from Brooklyn and a homeboy-bike messenger from Harlem fall in love.” Smollett took to Instagram stories to share his excitement regarding the premiere. He wrote to his followers, “Beyond humbled by last night’s screening.”

He continued, “To see all the love for the film is crazy beautiful. More to come while I catch up but to everyone who came out last night with so much love and community … on behalf of everyone @bboybluesthefilm, Thank you. We love y’all. Now to find a home for it so the whole world can see.”

Smollett’s sister, Jurnee Smollett, also took to social media to congratulate her brother. She wrote, “So proud of you @jussiesmollett!! Congrats on making your feature directorial debut with @bboybluesthefilm! Can’t wait for the world to see the magic you all have created in this film!”

"B-Boy Blues" New York Screening
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 19: Jussie Smollett, Timothy Richardson, Thomas Mackie (C) and guests attend the New York Screening of “B-Boy Blues” at AMC Magic Johnson Harlem on November 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Smollett has been mostly off the professional radar since making international headlines for the early 2019 incident involving his potentially fabricated allegations that he was a victim of a hate crime while living in Chicago. Smollett, who is openly gay, claimed he was beaten by white men who hurled racist and homophobic insults at him when he lived in the city working on Empire.

Weeks later, he was charged with filing a false police report, with investigators concluding the attack was staged. The case was dropped and eventually revived when a special prosecutor charged Smollett with disorderly conduct over the police reports. He maintains that he did not fabricate the attack.

Smollett is now set to stand trial Nov. 29 in Chicago. In October, Smollett’s attorneys said the actor’s “rights were being violated since he had already performed community service and given up a $10,000 bond under a previous deal with Cook County prosecutors to drop charges.”

Nenye Uche, one of Smollett’s attorneys, said, “A deal is a deal. That’s ancient principle.”

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