Tag Archives: Jussie Smollett

Robin Roberts on her interview with liar Jussie Smollet: “It was a no-win situation”

Smollett’s narrative was questionable from the start: Two white “rednecks” out in Chiraq at 2:00 am during freezing temperatures screaming, “This is MAGA country!”

Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

From Hollywood Reporter: Robin Roberts on Monday revealed that she saw “red flags” in Jussie Smollett’s story and was subsequently hesitant about interviewing the Empire star on ABC’s Good Morning America. The sit-down, which aired Feb. 14, was Smollett’s first televised interview since his alleged hate crime attack and was broadcast one week before Smollett would go on to be charged with federal disorderly conduct for falsifying a police report.

The GMA anchor took a moment during her solo panel at The Cut’s first daylong “How I Get It Done” event to share details about the high-profile interview, including the details of how the ABC get unfolded and whether she believed Smollett during the process.

“All I wanted was to get to the truth,” Roberts told the intimate crowd, including The Hollywood Reporter, that had gathered at 1 Hotel Brooklyn. “All I wanted was to give the truth.”

While discussing details of the interview, which was shot two days prior to its airing, Roberts explained that the GMA booking department had initially reached out to her about sitting down with Smollett. Talks about the possible interview began shortly after the Empire star claimed he was attacked on a Chicago street in late January.

It was in those early internal conversations where Roberts first voiced her reluctance. “I’ll be completely honest, I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to do the interview or not,'” she said. “Let’s just wait and see, let’s see if more information comes in.”

There was rising speculation over Smollett’s account at the time, but it wasn’t until hours after the interview aired that a report hit that brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo (who are now witnesses in the Chicago Police Department’s case) were allegedly paid by Smollett to stage the attack. The narrative around Smollett began to significantly shift, but the interview was already locked.

Roberts pointed to comments made by Smollett during a Los Angeles concert in the days following his alleged attack as another key moment where she questioned speaking with the actor. She was adamant that interviewing Smollett made “no sense” if he was just going to “lawyer up” or refuse to be candid.

Roberts clarified to THR that her decision to talk with Smollett was contingent upon him sharing details that hadn’t been previously reported, which would make the interview newsworthy. “If there wasn’t going to be anything new, I didn’t really want to do it,” she said.

It was after those internal GMA conversations that Smollett reached out, “outraged by people making assumptions about whether it happened or not,” Roberts told THR and the crowd. According to the GMA anchor, Smollett’s team said that the actor was OK with being challenged on what Roberts saw as “red flags,” but that he’d also say things he hadn’t already said elsewhere.

“I’m like — as a journalist and as a newsperson, this is his right,” Roberts said. “He’s going on the record for the first time. Yes, I’ll do the interview.”

Roberts noted that her GMA team went through the police report and conducted other research to prepare for the interview, which was originally set for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, but was ultimately pushed back several hours due to the actor’s filming schedule. Roberts admitted during the panel that she wasn’t sure how it was going to go or how Smollett was going to react, but that she consciously worked to be as neutral as possible. She also was aware of her own identity as a gay black woman and how reporting on Smollett, a gay black man, might be perceived.

“He’s saying that it was a hate crime,” Roberts said. “So if I’m too hard on him, then people in my LGBTQ community are going, ‘Oh, you don’t believe him.’ If I’m too light on him, then it’s like, ‘Oh, because you are in the community, you’re giving him a pass.’ So it was, like, it was a no-win situation for me.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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LGBTQ activist accused of burning own house in alleged hate crime hoax

Her/his five pets took “one for the cause,” perishing in the fire.

From Yahoo: A popular gay rights activist was charged on Monday with first-degree arson after an FBI investigation led authorities to believe he set fire to his own house in an elaborate hoax meant to look like a hate crime.

Nikki Joly lost five pets when his Michigan house burned to the ground in 2017, according to the Detroit News. At the time, he was a prominent figure in the LGBTQ community who had helped open the city’s first gay community center, organized the first gay festival and helped establish a hard-won ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gay people.

Considering Joly’s status in the community, the FBI initially treated the fire as a hate crime. But the more they pounded the pavement, the more the trail led right back to Joly. “We determined it pretty quickly to be an arson,” said Elmer Hitt, Jackson’s director of police and fire services, according to the Detroit Free Press. “We investigated it over what probably was a year’s time before the prosecutor ended up issuing charges.”

Joly, a transgender man, had been declared Citizen of the Year by the Jackson Citizen Patriot, a local newspaper, in 2018. The accompanying article dug into his painful past and celebrated him as the leader he’d become. It described the rejection he’d experienced at 15 from the adopted parents who couldn’t accept that he didn’t identify as a girl, the sexual assault he’d survived and the harassment he’d received for being transgender.

The article also called him “stubborn and undeterred” in his anti-discrimination crusade and detailed all the things he’d done for the LGBTQ community. But many in the community have expressed deep disappointment over Joly’s case.

“It’s embarrassing,” Travis Trombley, a gay resident involved in the fight for the anti-discrimination ordinance, told the Detroit News. “How do you do it to the community you have put so much effort into helping?”

“All that good work is tainted. We know one bad mark outshines a hundred good ones,” added community member Stella Shananaquet, whose son is gay. “I’m infuriated someone could tear down the community that way.”

Investigators have still not announced a suspected motive for Joly to burn his own house down and kill his own pets in the process. But Barbara Shelton and Bobby James — two officials from St. Johns United Church of Christ, home of the Jackson Pride Center, where Joly spent much of his time volunteering — have proposed a theory to the police.

They told authorities that Joly was annoyed that the gay rights controversy wasn’t receiving much attention once the anti-discrimination law he’d fought for had been passed. They said he was also disappointed in the lack of fanfare over the gay rights parade he’d helped organize, according to a police report. But when questioned by the Detroit News, Shelton backpedaled, saying, “Not sure I said that. I have no idea about anything, never heard Nikki comment in any fashion about anything like that.”

Joly’s attorney, Daniel Barnett, dismisses the speculation. “It doesn’t make sense,” he told the Detroit News. “He was Citizen of the Year. There was plenty of media coverage already before the fire.”

Joly’s supporters are also standing by him. “If there’s a cause he’s always there,” friend Terri McKinnon told the newspaper. “He goes out of his way to help anybody and everybody. We’re lucky to have him.

The case is reminiscent of another alleged hate crime hoax that recently came to light — that of Empire actor Jussie Smollett, who reported that he was assaulted by two men who hurled homophobic and racist slurs at him outside his Chicago apartment in January. Investigators now say that Smollett knew his attackers and have accused him of hiring them to stage the crime to elicit public sympathy. Smollett was arrested on Thursday and charged with a felony.

Just how common are hate crime hoaxes? The New York Times reports they’re “rare,” but “do damage.” Cynthia Deitle, who spent 20 years as an FBI special agent focusing on hate crimes, said the most common reason for this kind of hoax is “the desire for attention and sympathy.” She said, “The cases I examined took place in a workplace environment and at residences, and sometimes the allegation was made to draw attention away from a real negative aspect of the complainant’s life, like poor performance at work or school, or a feeling that the complainant was not getting the attention she or he deserved.”

Of course, hate crimes are a real and serious phenomenon. The FBI reports that in 2017, there were more than 8,000 reported incidents in the U.S. That number was up about 17 percent from 2016.

A hearing to file motions in the Joly house fire case is scheduled for March 8 in Jackson County Circuit Court, according to the Detroit News. Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted Joly’s attorney for comment.

DCG

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Charles Barkley of ‘Inside the NBA’ ridicules Jussie Smollett

The real comedy is no longer found in late-night TV shows, all politicized and corrupted by the Left.

Last night, the “Inside the NBA” panel descended into helpless laughter when Charles Barkley mercilessly ridiculed Hollyweirdo Jussie Smollett, who was arrested yesterday for falsely reporting a racist, homophobic attack against him. It turned out that Smollett had hired two Nigerians to fake the assault.

See “Fake Hate Crime: Hollyweirdo Jussie Smollett arrested for faking racist-homophobic assault“.

As described by Business Insider, the “Inside the NBA” team was discussing how the second half of the season would shake out. Kenny Smith asked Ernie Johnson which of the predictions they had made earlier in the year had no chance of coming true.

“Two black guys beating a black guy up,” Barkley interrupted, sending Shaquille O’Neal and the “Inside the NBA” panel into hysterics.

Referring to Smollett paying the Nigerians with a personal check, Barkley said: “America, let me just tell you something. Do not commit crimes with checks.”

The production team at “Inside the NBA” jumped into action and quickly fashioned a spoof image of the check, shown after the commercial break:

Here’s the video of the “Inside the NBA” segment:

~Eowyn

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Fake Hate Crime: Hollyweirdo Jussie Smollett arrested for faking racist-homophobic assault

Early this morning, actor Jussie Smollett, 36, turned himself in to Chicago police after he was charged with a felony for lying to police when he claimed to be the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. Detectives had earlier contacted the actor’s attorneys to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest.

Smollett, who is due in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. today, could face probation or up to three years in prison if convicted, a Cook County State’s Attorney office spokeswoman told NBC Chicago. (Page Six)

Smollett, best known for the Fox TV show Empire, is both black and “gay”.

Smollett told police that on January 29, at around 1:30 a.m., he was accosted by two men in downtown Chicago who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, beat him up, poured bleach on him, wrapped a noose around his neck, and warned him that “This is MAGA country!”– a reference to President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Over the past 20 or so days, however, Smollett’s story has completely fallen apart (Breitbart):

  • Police sources said the rope wrapped around Smollett’s neck was traced back to a purchase made by Smollett himself.
  • According to CBS Chicago, Smollett paid $3500 to two Nigerian brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who are also black, to stage a racist and homophobic attack on him.
  • A search of the brothers’ apartment turned up bleach, a red hat, and a script from Smollett’s TV show Empire. One was an extra on Empire; the other was Smollett’s former personal trainer. The brothers are cooperating with police. They told detectives they and Smollett had rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.
  • The two brothers also told police Smollett was behind creating a racist letter that was sent to the actor on the set of Empire. When that letter did not get a “bigger reaction,” Smollett orchestrated the phony assault with the two men a week later. (Townhall)

At a press conference today, Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said “The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied by his salary.” Johnson said as a black man who’s grown up in Chicago, he’s “offended” and “angry” with Smollett taking advantage of the pain and anger and racism to promote his career:

“I’m left hanging my head and asking why? Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?” (Page Six)

According to Wikipedia, Smollett’s first name is Justin, but prefers Jussie. He is bi-racial: His father was Jewish, whose family emigrated from Russia and Poland; Smollett’s mother is African-American.

In 2017 in Los Angeles, Smollett pleaded no contest to providing false information to law enforcement when he gave police a false name at a DUI stop.

Update:

Sharp-eyed FOTM reader Maryaha draws our attention to the similar appearances of Jojo Smollett — Jussie’s brother, also an actor — and the man next to Obama dressed as the Baphomet. Here are the side-by-side pics:

See also these other fake hate-crimes:

Update (March 8, 2019):

Grand jury returns 16 felony counts against Jussie Smollett (CWB Chicago).

~Eowyn

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