Thursday, January 31, 2019

Did Jussie Smollett Fabricate His Hate-Fueled Attack?

Yikes. Racists have been doubting "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett's reported attack since the get-go, because that's what they do. But just as the rest of us -- some of whom had reasonable questions about the allegations -- thought the case seemed to be moving toward a potential arrest comes word that both Smollett and his manager are refusing to let cops have their phones to verify details of their account. (The manager now says he was on the phone with Smollett and heard parts of the attack, including the "This is MAGA country" declaration.) 

The timeline of the surveillance video isn’t adding up, either. My position is to always err on the side of believing people who say they are victims but then examine each case on its own merits. And from my 30 years of obsessive real-crime reading and TV watching, suddenly not cooperating usually means one thing ...

Truth be told I can't decide which would be worse at this point -- that people are capable of doing something so disgusting or that someone would make it up for attention? (Some are suggesting he might have staged the attack to cover for a hookup gone wrong, but the rope detail doesn't jibe for me.) Whatever the case may be, elements of this story didn't add up from the beginning, starting with one police source denying the MAGA element ever happened only for us to later be told that it did. From what I'm reading it sounds like Smollett added that detail during his second interview, which could explain the discrepancy. (I'm also hearing Smollett didn't suffer a broken rib as originally reported. And that he kept the rope/noose around his neck until the arrival of the cops, who were not called for 40 minutes after the alleged attack.) One thing is for sure: The second people overreacted and doubled down about the Covington students non-event, I feared the "boy who cried wolf" would come back to haunt us. And if this turns out to be a hoax it will only deepen my fears.

For people who ask what motive someone would have for making something like this up, there are a lot of them. Usually they think they're doing good by shining a light on something that is in fact going on, even if it's not true in their case. Or it's merely attention seeking, as was the case with this McCain-supporting genius, who carved a "B" on her face but did it backward because she was looking in the mirror!

And then there was this YouTuber who insists to this day he was the victim of a hate crime even though police are certain he made the whole thing up. He was even charged with vandalism as part of the hoax.


Hoaxes don't happen often -- hate crimes are definitely on the rise during this current political environment -- but they do happen.

If I'm wrong I will be the first to admit it. All I know is that I screamed out in a crowded newsroom in 1994 during this press conference that Susan Smith murdered her own children and people were disgusted with me ...


Above all, I'm glad he says he's OK


ernesto66 said...

Not judging, just saying: another site is suggesting it was a hookup gone bad. So not for the attention, maybe.

Stephen said...

If true, career ruined and reputation shot. Will not even be able to get a job at Walmart.

Bart said...

That's awfully presumptuous of you to say that those who doubt this kid's story are racits, Kenneth.

I reside here in the Chicago area - the weather at that time of the alleged attack was WELL below zero, and everything was closed...where were they going? Why were they walking in sub-zero temps?

I'm not a racist, Kenneth, and even I am having a hard time believing this story. I think you need to re-word your opening sentence.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@Bart: I see your point. I've rephrased the "rest of us" part to reflect your concerns. Thanks.

jaragon said...

The story seems a bit too dramatic for me- yes I do believe he was attacked - but was this just random or did he know his attackers? And why not let the police access to the phone?

Norm! said...

I was going to argue that crime victims don't lose their right privacy, so it's understandable that Smollett and his manager wouldn't turn over their phones to investigators. However, they also refused to turnover phone records which is troubling ( It seems that unnecessarily impedes investigators who are going to get the records from the cell phones companies anyway.

Investigators maintain that 'We have no reason to think that he's not being genuine' (

CarolinabeauSC said...

All it takes is 1 subpoena to the phone carriers from the Chicago PD. After the initial account, and the added MAGA BS, I thought hookup gone bad.

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