Jussie Smollett was cleared of the 16 felony charges the Chicago Police Department filed against him but that doesn’t mean his life is back to normal. Jussie’s older brother JoJo recently penned an essay for BET not only defending his younger sibling but also detailing how he’s been coping with all the drama.
“It has not yet been 90 days since my younger brother, Jussie Smollett, was assaulted on a cold winter night in Chicago,” he wrote in the impassioned Op-ed titled What If Jussie Smollett Was Telling The Truth?
“Like so many others, this entire process quickly devolved from a focus on him as a victim of assault, to him being falsely accused and held responsible for a crime that was perpetrated against him. To define this experience as unjust would be an understatement.”
He goes on to drag the notoriously depraved Chicago Police Department for what seemed like an endless supply of leaks, as well as letting the media have it for how he believes the investigation was covered.
“After several leaks from ‘unnamed’ police sources and despite a long history of wrongful accusations from the Chicago Police Department, many in the media accepted these unconfirmed reports as fact,” he wrote. “The numerous police leaks, which prompted an internal Chicago Police investigation, convicted Jussie in the court of public opinion before he even entered a courtroom.”
In the initial aftermath of the alleged homophobic assault, many of us had the same question: why? JoJo refutes claims Jussie did it for a bump in his Empire salary or career.
“I was shocked at how easily everyone accepted the ridiculous motive about Jussie’s career that was promulgated. Jussie had actually begun directing episodes of Empire, which brought additional compensation. He worked out a deal with Fox to own 100% of his music masters, released an album, which lead to a sold out world tour and he donated every cent of ticket sales to charity,” he wrote. “To suggest that he staged his own attack to boost a sagging career is ludicrous.”
He then goes on to provide intimate details of the trauma that Jussie has experienced as a byproduct of this entire ordeal.
“Jussie is as strong as iron, but following an attack like this, there is a normal and natural amount of post trauma that mostly anyone should expect to suffer,” he wrote. “I have literally seen him violently awakening from night terrors, following the assault. Some of my siblings, as well as Jussie’s partner and closest friends have seen similar things.”
He also points out Jussie’s numerous charitable contributions and work without public notice.
“Jussie actively fundraised to save Bennett College, which is one of only two all-women Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is a humble man whose charitable work, usually goes unnoticed and he never seeks attention for it. Jussie didn’t even want to contact the police, following his assault. He was weary and didn’t care for the unnecessary attention it might garner.”