Jussie Smollett is getting real about how being accused and found guilty of submitting a false police report in his alleged 2019 hate crime had a bad impact on his personal life. In addition to the embarrassment and anger, he says he suffered career-wise and financially. Things got so bad that he had to sell his home. The actor maintains his innocence.
Jussie Smollett says he had to sell his house amid the legal proceedings
Smollett’s career was on fire prior to the alleged scandal. The Empire alum was directing episodes on the FOX musical drama, releasing music and touring, and had recently bid for the rights to Alvin Ailey’s story. Additionally, he’d landed a major Broadway production. Unfortunately, everything stopped and he was forced to make difficult decisions.
“When everything was going down, people didn’t realize I had to sell my house. And of course, you can think to yourself, ‘OK muthaf——a, but you had a house,’” he told Sway in the Morning. “I’m grateful for it but I busted my a— for that house. And my mom lived in that house. So, to have to sell it was really painful.”
Luckily, he had the support of his family and some friends like Sway, Heather B, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Brandi Evans, and more to support him publically.
What he has to say about the people who turned against him
While Smollett says he understands why some people of the public didn’t believe him at times, the same can’t be said for those who were close to him. He told Sway:
I do hold some people accountable for the things that they do, for the things that they said, for the ways they reacted because half of those people should have picked up the f—-ing phone and called me because they had my number and they didn’t. But I also understand that we sometimes operate out of fear and the whole mission is to alienate you so that you are vibrating in the wrong way and all the s—t around you is wrong and people just have to step back. But I don’t hold the people to anything that stepped back. I hold the people that went out there and said s—t, I hold them to something. And not the people that don’t know me, but the people that do know me, f—k out of here, y’all know better than that. And y’all did that, it was some PR bulls—t and you know who you are and I will not name names, and I love everybody. But I don’t like everybody.
He says he was shocked that people didn’t believe him
While Smollett says his family kept him away from news and social media for at least a year amid the fallout, he says once he learned the public’s reaction he was stunned. He couldn’t believe that so many people questioned his story.
“Whatever they thought, they thought. And whatever way it was served, it was served. But that is also – I didn’t know what was happening then,” he told the radio hosts. “I didn’t know how bad it was getting. And I also didn’t think, for whatever reason, I genuinely thought that people were going to be like, ‘There’s no way that he did some bulls—t like that.’ I felt like y’all know me. And I’m thinking that people’s histories should mean something.”
As crazy as it sounds, Smollett says he’s happy things unfolded the way they did. It allowed him to see who was truly a real friend to him.