What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Ill. March 26, 2019. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)His refusal to own up to the hoax has probably maximized the damage to his career.

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going?

Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie Twitter account has ten followers. Smollett’s boss on Empire, showrunner Lee Daniels, now says he is “beyond embarrassed” that he rushed to defend the actor when Smollett first started telling that badly scripted story about his staged attack by a pair of supposed Trump fanatics who at the time seemed to be the only people in America who even knew who he was.

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A funny thing happened during Smollett’s victory lap: Chicago reporters obtained communications from police and prosecutors after a judge unsealed the case file. These records included texts Smollett sent that were obtained by police. The picture of Smollett that has emerged is considerably more detailed now: He had

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