Jussie Smollett has been charged with a felony.
But we all know how the American justice system works, right?
One is innocent until one is proven guilty.
This said, things do not look good for the Empire actor, especially not in the court of public opinion.
As you are very likely aware of by now, Smollett claimed several weeks ago that he was attacked on the streets of Chicago early on the morning of January 29.
He said two white men did it… and that they yelled racial and homophobic epithets at him… and that the placed a rope around his neck… and poured bleach all over him… and taunted him about living in "MAGA country."
According to the Chicago Police Department, however, Smollett staged his own attack and lied to everyone about all these details.
After lots of chatter about such an orchestration, Smollett was arrested for falsifying a police report last month.
The evidence against Smollett looks pretty strong, and there’s nearly no one on record who will take his side at this point.
Except for Queen Latifah.
Speaking to Zainab Salbi, host of the Yahoo News show "Through Her Eyes," the rapper/actres initially seemed hesitant to talk about the situation.
The two had previously worked together on an Empire/Star crossover episode and Latifah didn’t want to delve into such a sensitive topic.
"I’m not about to discuss Jussie Smollett," Latifah said at first, prior to then discussing him:
"Somebody can show me some proof, otherwise I’m going with him because the guy I’ve seen has always been someone who cares about people, who cares about others, and who’s very kind and who’s always been cool and sweet.
"And that’s just the guy I know."
This is certainly a fair assessment of a bizarre situation.
"Until I can see some definitive proof — which I haven’t seen yet — then, you know, I gotta go with him until I see otherwise," the Queen added.
The police have said they have phone records that prove Smollett talked to the supposed assaiants right before the "crime" was committed.
They also say these assailants worked as extras on Empire and were close with Smollett, shooting down his assertaion that he was assaulted by two random white dudes.
When Salbi asked whether we should look at the whole scandal through a racial justice "lens," Latifah replied:
"Well I think you always would have to. You should always be aware of that regardless…
"This whole thing started off [with] him allegedly being attacked by some guys — who appeared to be white guys — wearing hats that said ‘Make America Great Again’ and yelled epithets at him and said, ‘This is MAGA country.’"
"So the whole thing started off being like that.
"So how could you not take that into account, but everything that’s happened since then has been, who knows what it is. I don’t even know what to make of it. All I know is that I hope everything works out in the end and everybody basically comes out unscathed."
But this seems very hard to imagine at this point.
Smollett turned himself in and was booked by Chicago PD on February 21 under a felony charge for filing a false police report.
He faces three years in jail and was released on $100,000 bond.
Chicago police are maintaining they believe Smollett orchestrated the attack with two Nigerian brothers, who he had also hired as his personal trainers.