Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett publicly denied lying about staging a hate crime last year in a comment on a social media post comparing him to a sixth grade student who falsely accused three classmates of cutting her dreadlocks.
Self-help social media guru Derrick Jackson posted a comment on Instagram likening Smollett to Amari Allen, the school student who recanted her claims about three boys cutting her hair on Monday after security camera footage during the investigation showed the attack did not occur when and where Allen alleged.
“Jussie really is a trendsetter,” Jackson wrote under a picture of the girl posted by The Shade Room, a celebrity gossip site that promises to deliver “the latest tea.”
Approximately an hour later, Smollett responded that his “story has actually never changed” and that "I haven't lied about a thing.”
“Y’all can continue to be misinformed, internalized sheep, who believe what actual proven liars feed you or you can read the actual docs,” Smollet wrote. “Either way, Imma be alright. I know me and what happened. You don’t. So carry on. All love.”
Last January, Smollett, who is gay and black, reported he was attacked by two men while out getting food from a Subway sandwich shop around 2 a.m. He maintains that the men yelled racial and homophobic slurs, said “This is Maga Country” and wrapped a noose around his neck.
Chicago prosecutors dropped all charges against Smollett, including 16 counts of filing a false police report, in March. In response, Illinois Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed former U.S. attorney Dan Webb as special counsel to investigate Cook County State’s attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the case and whether Smollett should face new charges.
Webb, however, revealed on Monday that he co-hosted a 2016 fundraiser for Foxx at Winston & Strawn, a Chicago law firm, and donated a $1,000 check to her campaign, according to the Chicago Tribune. The lawyer is expected to discuss his connection to Foxx at a hearing with Toomin on Friday.
The city of Chicago has filed a civil complaint against Smollett, seeking damages stemming from the entertainer’s complaint about the alleged attack police say he orchestrated. The complaint says Chicago police logged more than 1,800 overtime hours, which cost the city $130,106.15.