For months, Jussie Smollett hasn’t said a peep and yesterday he re-emerged on social media to share a video clip in honor of Pride Month. Many of his Empire co-stars have come forward to support him publicly, as well as the show’s creator and executive producer, Lee Daniels. Immediately following the alleged attack on Smollett in Chicago, Daniels lent his support to the actor. He made an emotional video that he shared on social media and in a new conversation with Vulture magazine, Daniels said it’s something that he’s embarrassed by.
“I’m beyond embarrassed,” Daniels said. “I think that when it happened, I had a flash of me running from bullies. I had a flash of my whole life, of my childhood, my youth, getting beaten.” He also said that he would never suspect that Smollett would be capable of constructing a plan to stage a fake attack on himself. It would be a huge betrayal “if it turned out that he did it, was guilty, and all of it’s accurate.”
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“Of course, there’s some doubt,” Daniels added. “I’m telling you that because I love him so much. That’s the torture that I’m in right now, because it’s literally if it were to happen to your son and your child, how would you feel? You would feel, Please, God, please let there be that glimmer of hope that there is some truth in this story. That’s why it’s been so painful. It was a flood of pain.”
Daniels said he was too busy “putting out fires” to read the extensive investigative report published by the Chicago Tribune. The interviewer mentioned that their story pretty much made it seem as if there was no way that this wasn’t a hoax. “We weren’t there,” Daniels said. “I can’t judge him. That’s only for the f*cking lady or man with that black robe and God. I had to detach myself and stop calling him, because it was taking away the time I have for my kids, the time I have for my partner. It was affecting my spirit and other shows, everything.”