Lee Daniels “Beyond Embarrassed” For Rushing To Jussie Smolletts Defense

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When Jussie Smollett said he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on January 29, Empire co-creator and executive producer Lee Daniels made an impassioned statement in a since-deleted video on Instagram, saying it was “just another f*cking day in America.”

Now that Smollett has been publicly accused of orchestrating the attack, Daniels told Vulture he regrets rushing to judgment.

“Im beyond embarrassed,” he said. “I think that when it happened, I had a flash of me running from bullies. I had a flash of my whole life, of my childhood, my youth, getting beaten.”

In the interview published online Tuesday, the Oscar-nominated director said Smollett is like a son, and he still has “some doubt” that the actor would stage an attack.

“Of course, theres some doubt,” Daniels stated. “Im telling you that because I love him so much. Thats the torture that Im in right now, because its literally if it were to happen to your son and your child, how would you feel? You would feel, Please, God, please let there be that glimmer of hope that there is some truth in this story. Thats why its been so painful. It was a flood of pain.”

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The day of the attack, Smollett told police he was walking down a Chicago street in the dark, when two unknown offenders approached him and began yelling racial and homophobic slurs. The actor said the suspects beat him, wrapped a rope around his neck and said “this is MAGA country.”

Vulture reminded Daniels that Chicago police and the citys local media alleged Smollett hired to friends to attack him, in hopes of getting a salary increase on Empire, leaving little doubt that the incident was a “hoax.”

“We werent there. I cant judge him,” Daniels responded. “Thats only for the f*cking lady or man with that black robe and God. I had to detach myself and stop calling him, because it was taking away the time I have for my kids, the time I have for my partner. It was affecting my spirit and other shows, everything.”

Cook County prosecutors charged Smollett with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. The actor maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty. In a surprise move on MRead More – Source

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