Jussie Smollett’s legal drama is far from over.
FOX 32 reported Tuesday that the former “Empire” star was charged with six counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly staging his January 2019 hate crime.
These new indictments from Chicago prosecutor Dan Webb come less than a year after the actor’s initial 16 charges were dropped in March 2019.
On Wednesday’s live episode of “The Real,” hosts Jeannie Mai, Amanda Seales, Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love and Tamera Mowry-Housley reacted to the shocking story.
For Mai, Smollett’s legal case reminds her of her queer friends in San Francisco who were killed just for being themselves.
“For me, I’m very passionate about this because to this day, there are people in the LGBTQ community risking their lives and getting hurt, harmed, or killed on the daily for just living their life,” Jeannie exclaimed. “And I’ve actually lost friends to these attacks in San Francisco, so I just want to say if he really did do this to manifest it for attention, then it is a heinous thing to do and he must pay the price.”
If Smollett did not lie about his homophobic attack, Mai says “he’s owed an apology because he’s getting dragged through this.”
When Love mentioned why prosecutors are not filing charges against Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo — brothers who allegedly helped Smollett orchestrate the event — Seales exclaimed, “Why aren’t they bringing charges against all the white people that call the cops for BS every single day? Every single day.”
Elaborating on her argument about the racial injustice in America, the “Insecure” actress mentions the case of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy who was lynched after he was accused of flirting with or whistling at a 21-year-old white woman. The accuser, Carolyn Bryant, later acknowledged she fabricated parts of her testimony.
“Even if it was a hoax, this is really happening all the time. And even if it was a hoax for the sake of bringing attention to this, then I’m like, ‘That’s low-key noble,’” she said. “I’m at wit’s end about us centering situations like this and wanting to make people have to pay, and it’s like Emmett Till’s accuser was… I think she’s still alive and this young man died and she announced that she was lying about it. They should’ve put the shackles on her that day and she’s walking around.”
Amanda continued, “So, no one was hurt in this situation. You know what they’re mad about. Their time, their resources being used. Taxpayers’ resources being used. Taxpayers’ resources are being used every day to imprison people who have done nothing but be an addict. So, I don’t want to hear about Jussie Smollett.”
If convicted, Smollett faces up to three years in state prison.
He will be arraigned February 24.