Who is Jussie Smollett, the actor accused of having mounted his own assault?


The star of "The Empire" Jussie Smollett, accused on Wednesday of staging a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago, has been in the spotlight in recent weeks – but perhaps not for reasons that "we are in trouble." a career actor would prefer.

Mr Smollett, who is black and openly gay, said in January that he had been the victim of an attack during which masked men poured him chemicals and passed him the rope in the the audience, activists and politicians. In a major twist, Mr. Smollett, who is in his mid-thirties, was charged on Wednesday with a charge of disordered driving offense in connection with the episode.

Mr. Smollett is best known for his role as an actor in "Empire," a hip-hop drama about Fox, in which he plays a son vying for the throne of his father's musical empire.

Mr. Smollett, second from left, appears in "Empire", the hip-hop drama broadcast on Fox.CreditChuck Hodes / Fox, via Associated Press

After growing up with five brothers and sisters pursuing a career in theater, modeling and music, Mr. Smollett appeared on the big screen in 1992. He has since played supporting roles in several other movies and TV shows, all starting a career as a R & B singer.

Mr. Smollett and his brothers and sisters have been outspoken politicians and dedicated to causes such as prevention of HIV / AIDS and racial justice. Mr. Smollett is a board member of four charities, including the Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Black AIDS Institute, according to his website.

Mr. Smollett was cast as a child actor in the 1992 family comedy movie "The Mighty Ducks".CreditDeborah Croswell / Walt Disney Pictures, via Alamy

Mr. Smollett also has a singing career distinct from "Empire". In March he released an album of 10 R & B songs. A few days later he reported the attack, Mr. Smollett happened in front of a sold-out crowd in West Hollywood, California, telling his fans that he would not let his attackers win and that he "had to be here tonight ".

In January, Mr. Smollett told the police that when he was walking in downtown Chicago he had been confronted by white masked men who had addressed homophobic and racial slurs to him and told him that it was the "MAGA country", referring to the slogan of President Trump's campaign.

While Mr. Smollett had to answer questions as to whether his hate crime report was true, he continued to insist that the incident occur when he reported it. .

In a statement released Wednesday by Fox, before the Chicago police described Mr. Smollett as a suspect in the case, the network said his character was not being traded in. Empire "in response to the police announcement that the investigation would have followed the trajectory of the investigation. changed, contrary to what has been reported by several media. Fox then declined to comment after Mr. Smollett was indicted.

On Wednesday night, following his indictment, his lawyers said in a statement: "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, especially when there has been an investigation like this one where information, true or false, has been leaked several times. "


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