It's the question that all celebrity gossip fans and even hard news followers continue to ask when it comes to Jussie Smollett.
Why on earth would he orchestrate an assault against himself in Chicago, as he stands accused of doing by the Chicago Police Department?
On Thursday morning, Smollett turned himself into the police on a charge of falsifying an official report.
This is a felony that could land the Empire actor behind bars for three years and it stems from an incident that he claimed took place around 2 a.m. on January 29.
As you must know by now if you're reading this, Smollett made national headlines by alleging that not only was he attacked on the way home from a late-night snack, but...
- The attackers were white.
- They yelled racial and anti-gay slurs in his direction.
- They screamed he was in "MAGA country."
- They tied a rope around his neck.
- They poured bleach all over him.
Based on interviews with two Nigerian brothers, who know Smollett well and who told cops he hired them to stage this event, along with evidence gathered via cell phone records and surveillance video, the police now believe none of the above happened.
They think Smollett has been lying to us all.
So, againm, we return to the major question here:
Initial reports alleged Smollett was getting written off Empire and this was a last-ditch attempt to save his job.
During a press conference late this week, the police superintendent came right out and said Smollett committed this crime because he was upset about his salary.
Neither of these explanations makes much sense.
So TMZ has now offered up another.
Sources have told this website that Smollett may have been inspired by an attack on the cousin of Empire creator Lee Daniels.
Like Smollett, his cousin is gay.
Lee shared a video on Instagram on January 10 calling out homophobia because, in that same post, the veteran producer wrote:
"This past week my cousin was beat up for being gay and I am sick of hearing these stories."
Smollett has been an active member of the LGBTQ community for years and, as far as this theory goes, he was trying to alert the world to the rampant homophobia out there by making himself a very public victim.
It's worth emphasizing: This is just a theory.
In a couple more updates to this crazy story:
Smollett has been written out of the final Empire episodes of this season, but has not been officially fired.
The siblings who have admitted to working with Smollett on this set-up told a grand jury on Wednesday that the $3,500 check they received from the actor was actually NOT a payment for their role in the act.
They say it really was payment for help with personal training.
Again: This story is downright crazy.
And it doesn't appear as if it will calm down any time soon.
Bookmark The Hollywood Gossip, though, and visit us often for constant updates on the messy situation.
We'll continually share all the news we can gather as it breaks.