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Old 02-16-2019, 10:04 PM
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Jussie Smollett (Empire) alleged hate crime attack.


Anyone else been watching this story develop over the past two weeks?

It began with allegations of a very disturbing hate crime. Jussie Smollet ended up in the hospital. Questions began soon afterwards and now CNN is reporting it may be a publicity hoax.

That's even more disturbing than the original allegations. Smollet portrays a gay character on Empire. His role on the show was winding down.
https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/02/16/ent...www.cnn.com%2F
https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/02/15/ent...www.cnn.com%2F
https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/02/15/ent...www.cnn.com%2F


Quote:
Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollet paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.

The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of "new evidence."

The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs." He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-16-2019 at 10:08 PM.
  #2  
Old 02-16-2019, 10:07 PM
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This is why we can't have nice things.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:12 PM
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Yes, a publicity stunt is a terrible disservice to all the victims of hate crimes.

Washington Post has the story too.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.was...aims-are-hoax/
Quote:
Chicago police say new information in the case involving an alleged assault against Jussie Smollett has “shifted the trajectory of the investigation” and that they want to interview the “Empire” actor again.

In a statement Saturday night, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the information was received in interviews with two individuals who were questioned by police and that the department has reached out to Smollett’s attorney to request a follow-up interview. Representatives for Smollett did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Quote:
The latest police statement comes amid increasing news reports, which cite unnamed police sources, that Smollett may have staged his own attack in the city last month. 

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-16-2019 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:18 PM
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Too elaborate and theatrical. The guy probably wants to direct.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:25 PM
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http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=870927

There is already a thread on this.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:26 PM
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Yah, I was watching it. There were a number of things that seemed odd. He kept the rope around his neck. He had very little injuries. There was a lack of camera support in a city full of cameras.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:02 PM
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There's conflicting reports whether Smollett was being written off Empire. Everyone is in CYA mode on this thing.

He will be off the show if this is proven to be a hoax. Imho His career will be over.

I don't watch the show. I assume he has a big role?
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.eto...r-119727%3famp

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-16-2019 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:09 PM
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Case is going to a Grand Jury. I'm surprised because it appears the cops don't buy Jussie's story. I guess the Grand Jury will try and get the truth? Jussie better tell the truth there.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tmz...-trump-empire/
Quote:
We're told the way they tracked the 2 brothers down was by their movements in arriving and leaving the scene around Jussie's apartment building. As we reported, they left in either a cab or an Uber, but we're told cops tracked the vehicle and the 2 brothers got out on their way home and into another vehicle. As one source put it, "It was almost like a bad spy movie."

The sources say there were red flags from the get-go. Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-17-2019 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:18 PM
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I had never heard of him before this, but I suspected it was a hoax from the outset.

Anyone else remember this?

http://www.bogushatecrimes.com/89_Mo...eySwastika.php
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Case is going to a Grand Jury. I'm surprised because it appears the cops don't buy Jussie's story. I guess the Grand Jury will try and get the truth? Jussie better tell the truth there.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tmz...-trump-empire/
If they have any doubt about the veracity of his account then there is no way his lawyers will allow him to speak to the grand jury. That is much more serious than lying to the cops. You are not compelled to make any testimony that may implicate yourself in a crime. But you’re not allowed to lie under oath either.

I won’t go into detail because I spoke more at length in the pit thread already. From the beginning before I even knew who this guy was the story seemed off. I didn’t immediately jump to the conclusion of a hoax but I felt it wasn’t exactly the way he said it was.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I had never heard of him before this, but I suspected it was a hoax from the outset.

Anyone else remember this?

http://www.bogushatecrimes.com/89_Mo...eySwastika.php

I was thinking of Obamaface.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:36 PM
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If they have any doubt about the veracity of his account then there is no way his lawyers will allow him to speak to the grand jury. That is much more serious than lying to the cops. You are not compelled to make any testimony that may implicate yourself in a crime. But you’re not allowed to lie under oath either.



I won’t go into detail because I spoke more at length in the pit thread already. From the beginning before I even knew who this guy was the story seemed off. I didn’t immediately jump to the conclusion of a hoax but I felt it wasn’t exactly the way he said it was.
Yeah, perjury at a grand jury is a lot more serious than filing a false police report.

I expect Jussie's lawyers will try to get him to fess up before the grand jury meets. End this now, before it gets any more serious. He'll still be in some trouble but that's on him for what he's done.

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-17-2019 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:02 AM
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I am aware of this story. I assessed the actor as not being noteworthy, so I filed it under "stupid sh*t people do." Too bad the rest of the world won't do the same.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:46 AM
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I am aware of this story. I assessed the actor as not being noteworthy, so I filed it under "stupid sh*t people do." Too bad the rest of the world won't do the same.
He made it about Trump, so yeah they won't.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:13 AM
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Smollett is an actor and gay activist. He's claiming that made him a target for a hate crime.

That's not something to be ignored.

Even Al Sharpton is rethinking his support of Smollett.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/pagesix...ed-attack/amp/
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:23 AM
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I believe the assertion was that the attackers said "this is MAGA country". This does not sound to me like something a racist homophobic Trump supporter would say - but it does sound like something someone who believes that Trump supporters are all racist and homophobic would think they say.

It's like George Zimmerman claiming that Trayvon Martin said "you got me" after Zimmerman shot him. I bet Zimmerman thought that this is what someone who got shot would say. Zimmerman watched too many movies; Smollet listened to too many Trump bashers.

I wonder what his motive was (assuming it was a hoax). Just attention-seeking? Was he going to carve out a new career as a professional victim, or go into politics? Or did he think it would help his career as an actor?

It's too bad. This kind of thing makes it harder to believe when real incidents happen.

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Old 02-18-2019, 10:34 AM
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...

It's too bad. This kind of thing makes it harder to believe when real incidents happen.



Regards,

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Exactly. If Smollett is lying this will be used to try to minimize and discredit real attacks, both past and future. He's giving a gift to racists and homophobes.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:06 AM
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I wonder if he lives in such a liberal echo chamber that he never imagined this could become a police matter, because he thought that in "racist" America, racial crimes against blacks are not prosecuted.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:19 AM
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I believe the assertion was that the attackers said "this is MAGA country". This does not sound to me like something a racist homophobic Trump supporter would say - but it does sound like something someone who believes that Trump supporters are all racist and homophobic would think they say.
Fair point -- your usual violent bigot does not pause mid-assault to explain his ideological basis, and few criminal perps or victims IRL use standard catchphrases from popular media in the heat of the encounter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidm View Post
Exactly. If Smollett is lying this will be used to try to minimize and discredit real attacks, both past and future. He's giving a gift to racists and homophobes.
And the thing is, homo/xenophobic, racist, sexist aggressions DO happen, but mostly to those in no position to call upon public opinion in a timely fashion.

(And BTW that in itself is an argument against using a celebrity hoax to bring attention to the issue, because when you are a celebrity, it will be investigated.)

I can't help but SMH.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-18-2019 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:21 AM
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I wonder if he ...never imagined this could become a police matter,... .

Didn't he call the cops?

Last edited by bobot; 02-18-2019 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:21 AM
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I wonder if he lives in such a liberal echo chamber that he never imagined this could become a police matter, because he thought that in "racist" America, racial crimes against blacks are not prosecuted.
I suspect he thought no one would be able to hunt down his Nigerian friends, and everyone would just take his word for what happened.

He's never met a real Trump supporter in his life. Nor has any of his friends or co-workers and he was hoping neither had the police. So they all shake their heads sadly, tell him how courageous he is, and for the rest of his life he gets introduced as the noble survivor, etc.

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Old 02-18-2019, 11:21 AM
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I wonder if he lives in such a liberal echo chamber that he never imagined this could become a police matter, because he thought that in "racist" America, racial crimes against blacks are not prosecuted.
I suppose anything is possible, but he did call police and they came and took a report, so if he had that notion, I imagine it was dispelled shortly after reporting it. Certainly by the time they were asking him for phone records.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:38 AM
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Fair point -- your usual violent bigot does not pause mid-assault to explain his ideological basis, and few criminal perps or victims IRL use standard catchphrases from popular media in the heat of the encounter.


And the thing is, homo/xenophobic, racist, sexist aggressions DO happen, but mostly to those in no position to call upon public opinion in a timely fashion.

(And BTW that in itself is an argument against using a celebrity hoax to bring attention to the issue, because when you are a celebrity, it will be investigated.)

I can't help but SMH.
There are (too many) non-celebrity hoaxes that get investigated and discovered too. I guess some people see real advantage in the status of being a victim of a hate crime.

I agree that these sort of hoaxes are terrible, and make it more difficult for actual victims to find justice.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:58 AM
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My first thought when this broke was that he was attacked, but that he wasn't telling the full story. There were just too many coincidences for it to be a random attack. A few weeks earlier some college kid claimed his had been kidnapped walking through an alley behind the McDonald's in Lincoln Park. Immediately everyone asked "why were you walking through the alley and why the hell would kidnappers just happen to grab you?" Sure enough, a couple days later he revealed it was a drug deal gone wrong.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:41 PM
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He's never met a real Trump supporter in his life. Nor has any of his friends or co-workers and he was hoping neither had the police.
Interesting insights. How long have you been intimately acquainted with Mr. Smollett?

(I assume you aren't generalizing and making assumptions at the same time you accuse him of generalizing and making assumptions, because that would be really hypocritical...)
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:56 PM
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So what's the latest from Smollett? Is he still denying that he orchestrated the attack? Last I heard was this statement from his attorney, two days ago:

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Old 02-18-2019, 01:26 PM
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Sounds like he's digging a deeper and deeper hole.

It's going to get ugly if he finally admits this was staged.

Meanwhile the police are trying to schedule another interview. Smollett is unavailable.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/chicago...-released/amp/
Quote:
“There are no plans for Jussie Smollett to meet with Chicago police today,” a spokesperson for Smollett’s attorneys, Victor Henderson and Todd Pugh, stated in an email. “Smollett’s attorneys will keep an active dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf. We have no further comment today.”

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-18-2019 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:59 PM
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Didn't he call the cops?
The original news stories are getting buried by the more recent ones so I wasn't able to find anything by quick Googling, but I could have sworn it was his friend or manager who called the cops.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:44 PM
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Sounds like he's digging a deeper and deeper hole.

It's going to get ugly if he finally admits this was staged.

Meanwhile the police are trying to schedule another interview. Smollett is unavailable.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/chicago...-released/amp/
"a spokesperson for Smollett’s attorneys"?!? I wonder how much it costs to hire attorneys that have their own spokesperson.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:53 PM
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"a spokesperson for Smollett’s attorneys"?!? I wonder how much it costs to hire attorneys that have their own spokesperson.
Probably a legal secretary or paralegal who works at the firm.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:54 PM
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Interesting insights. How long have you been intimately acquainted with Mr. Smollett?
We've never met. I have never even watched his show.
Quote:
(I assume you aren't generalizing and making assumptions at the same time you accuse him of generalizing and making assumptions, because that would be really hypocritical...)
No, that's kind of silly. I haven't faked any hate crimes against myself. Or anyone else.

Even though it was a long weekend.

Regards,
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:01 PM
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Here's an article from a Chicago CBS station: Jussie Smollett Case: Clues Into Potential Motive Behind The Attack

Quote:
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, upset after a racist letter sent to the show’s studio didn’t get a “bigger reaction,” is suspected of paying two men to attack him a week later, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the investigation.

“When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack,” a source told CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards. Other sources corroborated that information.
The article seems to imply that he may have been involved in sending the letter.
  #33  
Old 02-18-2019, 03:14 PM
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Here's an article from a Chicago CBS station: Jussie Smollett Case: Clues Into Potential Motive Behind The Attack



The article seems to imply that he may have been involved in sending the letter.
He was clearly at the end of his rope and was just trying to start a vital, much needed conversation about the nature of inescapable American bigotry, as well as calling out Trump on his hateful policies and also shining a cleansing, healing light on the vile, pervasive racism inherent in Subway's decision to pull their Tuna Jalapeno Melt from the "Five Dollar Footlong" menu.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:43 PM
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Here's an article from a Chicago CBS station: Jussie Smollett Case: Clues Into Potential Motive Behind The Attack



The article seems to imply that he may have been involved in sending the letter.
There's also speculation that his character was going to be written off of the show, and so he did this to gain public sympathy and support.

Of course, "Empire" has denied there were any plans to let him go.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:29 PM
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... The article seems to imply that he may have been involved in sending the letter.
If that's the case, he may be well and truly fucked. I have doubts as to whether Cook County would prosecute him for filing a false police report, but the letter with white powder probably involves the Feds, and probably a much higher chance of prosecution.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:33 PM
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Fixed typo in title.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:38 PM
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There's also speculation that his character was going to be written off of the show, and so he did this to gain public sympathy and support.

Of course, "Empire" has denied there were any plans to let him go.
Wouldn't they though? It's not like a show is going to reveal potential plot twists or bad blood which tend to be the main reasons for suddenly writing a character out of a show, especially when they were asked back when it was still a coin-flip if this was real or a hoax.
  #38  
Old 02-18-2019, 10:24 PM
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If that's the case, he may be well and truly fucked. I have doubts as to whether Cook County would prosecute him for filing a false police report, but the letter with white powder probably involves the Feds, and probably a much higher chance of prosecution.
Cook County IMHO did some ingenious sleuthing to get to the bottom of this, fueled again IMHO by how bugshit crazy his story was. Id be a little surprised if they did not press charges. Especially given how quick they told the two guys "Well you're charged with battery dudes. You wanna tell me the truth now??"
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:41 AM
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He was clearly at the end of his rope and was just trying to start a vital, much needed conversation about the nature of inescapable American bigotry, as well as calling out Trump on his hateful policies and also shining a cleansing, healing light on the vile, pervasive racism inherent in Subway's decision to pull their Tuna Jalapeno Melt from the "Five Dollar Footlong" menu.
"At the end of his rope"? Good one.

How many laws has this guy broken?
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:59 AM
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Cook County IMHO did some ingenious sleuthing to get to the bottom of this, fueled again IMHO by how bugshit crazy his story was. Id be a little surprised if they did not press charges. Especially given how quick they told the two guys "Well you're charged with battery dudes. You wanna tell me the truth now??"
The people who did the ingenious sleuthing (the police) are not the same ones that decide whether to take a case to trial (the prosecutor) or not, but I hope you're right. Justice for Jussie!
  #41  
Old 02-19-2019, 09:34 AM
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"At the end of his rope"? Good one.



How many laws has this guy broken?
He may eventually face Federal charges for the threatening letter. Crimes committed through the Post Office can be quite serious.

We're not there yet. It'll be interesting to see how this story develops. It's hard to say what a Fed prosecutor may eventually decide.

People need to think long and hard before doing something like this. They don't realize what the consequences can be.

Recent article. The FBI is already involved.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/chicago...ed-attack/amp/

Geez, talk about amateurs. These men kept the magazines they used?
Quote:
The note was crafted with letters apparently cut out from magazines to form words. The pieced-together message contained racial and homophobic threats directed at Smollett. A magazine is one of the pieces of evidence retrieved from the brother’s home last week during a search conducted by CPD. Investigators also recovered a book of stamps.

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-19-2019 at 09:38 AM.
  #42  
Old 02-19-2019, 09:41 AM
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Jussie Smollett appeared in the play "Take Me Out"

You know, the play about a biracial, gay sports star who endures attacks similar to the one he reported to police just HOURS before his 'assault.'

ETA: Anyone else having flashbacks of Tawana Brawley?

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 02-19-2019 at 09:44 AM.
  #43  
Old 02-19-2019, 09:43 AM
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Smollett's role is being substantially reduced in Empire. He's being written out of scenes.

The fall out is starting. He needs to tell the full and truthful story ASAP and show some genuine remorse. Imho, or this case will just get worse.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tmz...lleged-attack/

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-19-2019 at 09:46 AM.
  #44  
Old 02-19-2019, 10:00 AM
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Smollett's role is being substantially reduced in Empire. He's being written out of scenes.

The fall out is starting. He needs to tell the full and truthful story ASAP and show some genuine remorse. Imho, or this case will just get worse.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tmz...lleged-attack/
To be honest his career is over either way, and the only thing he should be worried about are the legal consequences. Not confessing to the crime is probably his best move.
  #45  
Old 02-19-2019, 10:21 AM
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Jussie Smollett appeared in the play "Take Me Out"

You know, the play about a biracial, gay sports star who endures attacks similar to the one he reported to police just HOURS before his 'assault.'

ETA: Anyone else having flashbacks of Tawana Brawley?
Tawana Brawley lied because she was afraid of her step dad and thought he would beat her. I don't think she ever intended for her case to get publicity.
This is much worse, Smollett is lying for personal aggrandizement and to hurt people he hates.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:28 AM
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Tawana Brawley lied because she was afraid of her step dad and thought he would beat her. I don't think she ever intended for her case to get publicity.
This is much worse, Smollett is lying for personal aggrandizement and to hurt people he hates.
In the Brawley case there were actual people named. Their lives were made into a living hell. I think that was worse.
  #47  
Old 02-19-2019, 02:34 PM
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Probably a legal secretary or paralegal who works at the firm.
Nope. The media spokesperson was Anne Kavanagh.

Anne Kavanagh is Partner, Senior Media Advisor at Media Pros 24/7, a boutique consulting firm. Anne is also an advisory board member at DePaul University's College of Communications and teaches investigative journalism there as an adjunct instructor.
  #48  
Old 02-19-2019, 04:16 PM
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Is it a Federal crime to mail threatening letters to yourself? I'm sure the false reporting is but probably a lesser offense than the threats.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
Nope. The media spokesperson was Anne Kavanagh.

Anne Kavanagh is Partner, Senior Media Advisor at Media Pros 24/7, a boutique consulting firm. Anne is also an advisory board member at DePaul University's College of Communications and teaches investigative journalism there as an adjunct instructor.
Well, I sit corrected. I wonder how large Smollett's legal bills are. He has to realize his career is pretty much over, at least for a while.

Last edited by Larry Borgia; 02-19-2019 at 05:37 PM.
  #50  
Old 02-19-2019, 06:04 PM
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Foxx has apparently recused herself from the case:

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