Disgraced “Empire” star Jussie Smollett has just broken his silence for the first time after being hit with new charges related to him lying to police about allegedly being the victim of a hate crime in Chicago.
Smollett Makes Rare Public Comments
After pleading not guilty to the new charges in court this week, Smollett was approached by TMZ  as he left the Los Angeles airport on Tuesday. When asked what he thinks about the American justice system, Smollett referred the reporter to his lawyer. His lawyer said she has faith “the system will eventually work.”
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Smollett continued. “It’s fight or die at this point.”
Smollett was then asked if he still claims to be innocent, to which he emphatically responded:
“I don’t claim to be innocent, I am innocent.”
Smollett was on his way back from Chicago after appearing in court. He entered a not guilty plea after being indicted on six new charges for allegedly lying to police about being the victim of a hate crime in January of 2019. The judge set a $20,000 personal recognizance bond. Smollett doesn’t have to pay any of it and was not taken into custody. His next court date is March 18.
Smollett’s Alleged Hate Crime
The actor claimed that he was jumped by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him and tied a noose around his neck while also screaming, “This is MAGA country.” Police, however, concluded that he had hired two friends to carry out the attack, hoping that the resulting publicity would garner him more fame and a pay raise on “Empire.”
Fox News  reported that Smollett’s legal team has filed a motion calling for the case to be dismissed.
They are arguing that the new charges violate the constitutional protection against being charged twice for the same crime which is also known as double jeopardy. Smollett’s lawyer Tina Glandion expressed confidence that the double jeopardy argument will hold up in court.
“I do [think that can hold up in court],” she said. “That’s why we filed the motion.”
Smollett was asked if he thought claiming double jeopardy or just saying “I didn’t do it” was the better defense.
“The truth is the best defense. The truth, which they know nothing about.”
Will Smollett Go To Prison?
It seems that Smollett tried to use the racial and political divides that currently exist in this country for his own personal gain by claiming to be a victim of a hate crime by those promoting “MAGA country.” It’s shameful for him to vilify a group of Americans that are already attacked on a daily basis by the mainstream media simply for supporting the president.
It will be interesting to see if his defense team succeeds or fails with the double jeopardy argument. As we can see by his comments, he’s definitely sticking with claim of innocence. What will justice for Jussie look like?