Musician Queen Latifah threw her support behind Empire actor Jussie Smollett stating she wants to “see some definitive proof” of the alleged fake crime report the Chicago Police Department are accusing him of.
Queen Latifah sat down with Yahoo News’ Zainab Salbi, where she was asked about her opinion on Jussie Smollett.
Latifah first stated, “I’m not about to discuss Jussie Smollett.” She would add, “Until somebody can show me some proof otherwise, I’m going with him.” She then discusses Smollett’s character and how she’s interacted with him, “The guy I’ve seen has always been someone who cares about people, who cares about others, and who’s very kind, and has always been cool and sweet. That’s just the guy I know.”
She then adds, “Until I can see some definitive proof, which I haven’t seen yet, I gotta go with him until I see otherwise.”
Queen Latifah is then asked about the case and whether or not it should be looked at through a “racial justice lens.”
“You should always be aware of that regardless. This whole thing started off from him allegedly being attacked by some guys who appeared to be white guys wearing a hat that said Make America Great Again and yelled epitaphs at him and said ‘This is MAGA country.’ So, the whole thing started off being like that. How could you not take that into account.”
Latifah would add:
“Everything that has happened since then, who knows what it is. I don’t even know what to make of it. All I know is that I hope everything works out in the end. And everybody basically comes out unscathed.”
Latifah isn’t the only high profile figure to defend Jussie Smollett after police claim he masterminded the attack against himself. Empire actor and former War Machine actor Terrence Howard defended Smollett on Instagram where Howard wrote, ” The Jussie that I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly. His innocence or judgment is not for any of us to decide.” He would add, “It’s God’s job to judge and it is ours to love and hope, especially for those that we claim to have loved. There’s nothing more harmful than a fake friend! Real talk.”
Chicago police claim Smollett staged the attack in order to promote his own career. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson spoke at a press conference last month:
“I know the racial divide that exists here. I know how hard it’s been for our city and our nation to come together. And I also know the disparities and I know the history. This announcement today recognizes that ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Johnson would add:
“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? How could an individual, who has been embraced by the city of Chicago, turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?”
Smollett would post bond after he was arrested and return to the set of Empire where he apologized to his cast members allegedly saying, “I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this.”
Smollett’s character of Jamal was written out of the last two episodes of this season of Empire.
His legal team issued a statement proclaiming Smollett’s innocence:
“Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system. The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election. Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”
What do you make of Queen Latifah’s comments?