When it was first claimed on Jan. 29 that Empire actor Jussie Smollett had been the victim of a “racist and homophobic” attack by two men yelling “This is MAGA country” at 2 am in downtown Chicago in the middle of the sub-zero “polar vortex,” many prominent Democrats and countless denizens of the media uncritically accepted Smollett’s story and offered their sympathy.
One of those politicians was Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has since deleted her sympathetic tweet about Smollett now that the facts of the case increasingly suggest that the entire thing was a hoax perpetrated by Smollett himself with the help of a couple of friends.
Pelosi tweets and deletes about Smollett
The Daily Mail reported that Pelosi posted a tweet about the alleged attack the same day it had occurred, offering condolences to Smollett and urging everyone to join together in opposition to hate crimes such as the one that purportedly took place.
Pelosi tweeted, “The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love. I pray that Jussie has a speedy recovery & that justice is served. May we all commit to ending this hate once & for all.”
However, now that it appears that Smollett is not a victim at all, but rather the perpetrator of a hoax, Pelosi has avoided addressing the controversy with the media and instead chose to simply delete the tweet, as if nothing had happened.
Unfortunately for Pelosi, the internet is forever, and her deleted tweet has been archived and captured by screen shots, meaning she will never be able to run away from the evidence of her rush to judgement prior to the emergence of all pertinent facts.
Smollett paid brothers to stage “attack”
Following Smollett’s initial claims, the Chicago Police Department launched a full investigation that eventually led them to a pair of brothers from Nigeria who had struck up a friendship with Smollett after appearing as extras on Empire.
Police confronted the brothers with evidence proving they had purchased the rope used to fashion the noose placed around Smollett’s neck, and when likely paired with a threat of potential prosecution, the brothers agreed to cooperate and informed the police that Smollett had paid them to stage the “attack” in order to garner sympathetic attention for the actor.
Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement: “We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation.” He added, “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”
Smollett denies involvement in hoax
For what it is worth, Smollett remains defiant and has denied through his attorneys any sort of involvement in a hoax. His attorneys said: “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.”
“‘He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” the attorneys added.
It remains to be seen if, once all of the facts surrounding the case have been revealed, Smollett will be held accountable for making a false hate crime report and wasting police resources on a hoax. It will also be interesting to see if anybody in the media decides to hold Pelosi and other prominent Democrats accountable for their instant rush to judgement in support of a claim that seemed awfully far-fetched from the get-go to many neutral observers.