Jussie Smollett gives rare interview about ‘painful’ years

Jussie Smollett gives rare interview about ‘painful’ years

Jussie Smollett regrets having that infamous reunion with Robin Roberts in 2019. In a rare interview, the actor said he was “mortified” watching it for the first time last year.

Smollett spoke to SiriusXM’s Sway Calloway to promote B-Boy Blueshis first project since being fired Empire when the police determined that he staged his own hate crime. The 40-year-old actor shed new light on his mindset three years ago and revealed that he hadn’t been aware of the backlash online for quite some time. Smollett, who was sentenced to 150 days in prison for lying to the police, maintains his innocence but wishes he had spoken differently.

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

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

“I didn’t want to do an interview,” Smollett said in swing in the morning, explaining that he initially wanted to respond to skeptics directly on social media. His team determined that the videos – which he still has on his phone – looked “very angry” and “defensive”. “I love and respect Robin Roberts… I didn’t want to do this interview. This interview wasn’t for me, it was for my character.”

Smollett did not attend the interview until it was interpreted by the prosecution in last year’s trial.

“I watched it and I was mortified. I mean, I was mortified. I mean, I cringed just that every word I said in that interview was the truth, but there was a certain level of performative nature that came from why I didn’t want to be there.” , he said. “I was so angry and offended that I had to go on national television and explain something that happened to me. And it was so political, and all that stuff, 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 were bullied based on who we are … but I also didn’t want to be associated with people who were bullied.”

“I’m really sorry to say this… I felt like I just became a f**** who got his ass spanked,” he continued. “Or at least I felt that was how people saw me. … You look ridiculous.'”

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

“If I were going to do anything, it wouldn’t be looking like a victim. It would be looking, at the very least, like someone strong,” he said, pointing to the fact that he didn’t need “some kind of ascension.” in your career. “I was going up and down.”

Smollett’s family took his phone away as the scandal began to erupt.

“When I say I was disconnected from the world, I was disconnected from the world,” he said. “I wasn’t allowed to go on social media.”

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

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

One person who didn’t let the actor down is his ex Empire co-star, Taraji P. Henson. The two maintained a friendship and she helped finance his new film.

“I was with Taraji the day before yesterday in Atlanta. That’s my heart. My heart, we had the best time we went to brunch,” Smollett said. “I love this woman. It’s inexplicable how much I love this woman and she is literally one of my best friends in the entire world.”

Smollett spent six days in prison following his March sentence, but was released on appeal of his 2021 conviction.

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