Jussie Smollett doubles down on innocence: “If I had done this, I’d be a piece of s***’

During an interview on Sway in the Morning on Shade 45 (Ch. 45), actor Jussie Smollett spoke out for the first time since his incarceration about the alleged hate crime he suffered over three years ago that led to the downfall (and current rebuilding) of his career.

In early 2019, Smollett reported a hate crime to the Chicago Police Department, claiming he was physically attacked by two brothers who later testified that Smollett paid them to stage the assault. Smollett was convicted on five felony counts over false reports and sentenced to 150 days in jail toward the end of 2021 — but he had an appeals hearing just a week later and was released upon posting a personal recognizance bond.

“It’s like finding out that someone is exactly the opposite of who they claim to be. And so, if I had done this, I’d be a piece of s***,” Smollett told Sway, sticking to his position that the attack was real.

Smollett continued, “If I had done something like this, it would mean that I stuck my fist in the pain of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years … It would mean that I stuck my fist in the fears of the LGBTQ community all over the world. I’m not that motherf*****. Never have been. Don’t need to be.”

Smollett also shared that at the time of the alleged hate crime, he was doing table reads for his dream Broadway role and had just optioned the rights to the autobiography of Alvin Ailey. “All of these things that I was creating, there would be no reason for me to do some dumb, corny s*** like that,” he explained.

Smollett returned to entertainment with the film B-Boy Blues, his directorial debut, which originally premiered at the 2021 American Black Film Festival and was released as a BET+ original earlier this month.

“Never again will anybody be able to pull my life from under me like a rug,” Smollett said after creative projects were taken from him in light of what happened.

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