Jussie Smollett is speaking out about his alleged January 2019 attack.
Wednesday night on Instagram, the former “Empire” star gave a rare interview to author and activist Marc Lamont Hill where he discussed his “frustrating” ongoing legal battle.
In March 2019, the actor was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report in which he claimed to have been the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime. After pleading not guilty, all of the charges against him were dropped later that month.
However, in February of this year, Jussie was indicted again on six counts pertaining to making four false police reports. He has pleaded not guilty to the renewed charges.
“It’s been frustrating, to say the least,” Smollett told Hill. ”It’s been beyond frustrating, because to be somebody that... speaks up for so much and speaks up about so many things, it’s been difficult to kind of be quiet — to not be able to say all the things you want to say, to yell from the rooftop, because I don’t think people realize that I’ve just been wrapped up in some form of a case for the last approaching two years.”
Though Smollett says he “is not going rogue” by discussing what he can with Hill, he does not believe staying silent has helped his case.
“I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me,” Smollett said. “It’s so much bigger than me.”
While Smollett says his counsel has filed a motion that will be reviewed Thursday in court, he does not believe his charges will be absolved.
“If I’m being completely honest, no, I don’t [believe that the case could be absolved],” Smollett said. “They won’t let this go. It doesn’t matter. There is an example being made and the sad part is that there is an example being made of someone who did not do what they’re being accused of.”
The actor also used this opportunity to deny, once again, that he orchestrated the alleged attack for attention.
“From the very, very beginning, it was set up to seem like I was lying about something or everything,” he said, adding toward the end of the interview, “There would be no reason for me to do this.”
During an August interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jussie’s sister Jurnee Smollett defended her brother against the controversy.
“Everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother,” she told the outlet.
The “Lovecraft Country” actress also told the publication that the situation has “been ------- painful” for her entire family.
Throughout his tumultuous legal journey, Jussie has steadfastly maintained his innocence.