Jurnee Smollett stands by her brother’s side, Jussie, as investigations continue whether he paid two men to stage a race-fueled attack against him in January 2019.
“It’s been f–king painful,” said the Birds of Prey star in an interview, “one of the most painful things my family’s ever experienced — to love someone as much as we love my brother, and to watch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating.”
Jurnee continued, “I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I’ve tried to not let it make me pessimistic. But everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother.”
In January 2019, Jussie Smollett reported an attack against him outside his apartment building in Chicago by two men wearing ski masks, and said they taunted him with homophobic and racial slurs and put a noose around his neck.
Since then, charges of filing false police reports against the “Empire” actor were made, dropped, and re-instated, while Jussie maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal.
Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo claimed that the actor paid them to stage the attack, and announcements were made in June that they will testify against the actor.
Jurnee reveals how the entire ordeal has been “maddening”, especially for not being able to defend her brother.
However, she claims that the controversial case does not have any negative impact on her career.
“We are blessed to have a community of people who know him,” she said, “and know that he wouldn’t do this.”
Jurnee will be starring in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”, a highly anticipated horror, sci-fi, period mashup that revisits the atrocities of Jim Crow America.
“We’re telling the story of heroes that go on a quest to disrupt white supremacy, and it’s maddening that in the year 2020 it’s still relevant,” she said.