Jussie Smollett gives rare interview about ‘painful’ years

Jussie Smollett gives rare interview about ‘painful’ years

Jussie Smollett regrets doing that infamous sit-down with Robin Roberts in 2019. In a rare interview, the actor said he was “mortified” to watch it for the first time last year.

Smollett chatted with SiriusXM’s Sway Calloway to promote B Boy Blueshis first project since he was fired from Empire when the police determined that he had faked his own hate crime. The 40-year-old actor shed new light on his thinking three years ago, revealing that he had been oblivious to online backlash for quite some time. Smollett, who was sentenced to 150 days in prison for lying to the police, maintains his innocence but wishes he spoke out differently.

Jussie Smollett returns to the limelight three months after being sentenced to prison for lying to the police.

Jussie Smollett returns to the limelight three months after being sentenced to prison for lying to the police. (Photo: Getty Images)

“I didn’t want to do an interview,” Smollett continued Wave in the morning, explaining that he initially wanted to answer doubters directly on social media. His team determined that the videos – which he still has on his phone – appeared “too angry” and “defensive.” “I love and respect Robin Roberts… I didn’t want to do that interview. That interview wasn’t for me, it was for my character.”

Smollett didn’t really watch the interview until it was played during the prosecution’s trial last year.

“I looked at it and was mortified. I mean, I was mortified. I mean, I cringed at just it, every word I said in that interview was the truth, but there was a certain level of performative nature that came out of it because I didn’t want to be there,” he said. “I was so angry and so insulted that I had to go on national television to explain something that had happened to me. And it was so political, and it was all those things, and I found myself dealing with my own internalized homophobia.”

Smollett, who is black and gay, said he was trying to “represent all of us who have been attacked based on who we are…but I also didn’t want to be associated with people who had been attacked.”

“I’m really sorry to say this…I felt like I was going to be an asshole hitting him in the ass,” he continued. “Or at least I felt like people saw me that way. And so I tried so hard to, like, the attitude of, he hit me and then I hit his ass back and I was like, ‘Oh my God… You look ridiculous.'”

Smollett stands behind everything he said during the interview, but “didn’t know what was coming at the time”. Just over a week later, he was arrested for making a false police report. Authorities allege the actor staged the attack to advance his career, a story Smollett dismisses.

“If I were to do one thing, it wouldn’t be to look like a victim. It would be to look like someone who is strong,” he said, pointing out that he doesn’t need “some kind of standing up.” had. in his career. “I was on top.”

Smollett’s family took his phone off when the scandal started to explode.

“If I say I was cut off from the world, I was cut off from the world,” he said. “I was not allowed on social media.”

The actor decided to Google himself “about a year later.”

“Worst idea ever,” he declared. “I really saw what it was and it was so painful. Because I thought, ‘Ooh, he said that about me. Oh my god. Oh, she said that. What?”

One person who did not disappoint the actor is his former Empire co-star, Taraji P. Henson. The two have maintained a friendship and she helped finance his new movie.

“The day before yesterday I was just in Atlanta with Taraji. That’s my heart. My heart, we had the best time going for brunch,” Smollett said. “I love that woman. It’s inexplicable how much I love that woman and she’s literally one of my best friends in the whole world.”

Smollett spent six days in prison after his conviction in March, but was released as he appealed his conviction in 2021.

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