While many people are puzzled over the fact that all 16 charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped on Tuesday morning (March 26), his Empire co-star Taraji P. Henson is very happy.
On Jan. 29 Jussie reported that he was attacked by two men who beat him up, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck, while shouting racial slurs and referencing MAGA country (Make America Great Again—the slogan President Donald Trump used during his election campaign).
Since that day, the case has divided the country on the legitimacy of Jussie’s claims. The case took many twists and turns, ending up with 16 felony charges brought against Jussie, by a grand jury, for filing a false police report. Not any more. The charges were dropped by the prosecutor.
In a statement to USA Today, Taraji spoke out about her co-star’s situation.
“I’m happy that the truth has finally been set free, because I knew it all along,” Taraji told USA Today. “We’re all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed.”
Taraji, who plays Cookie Lyon on Empire, Jussie’s mom on the show) went on to say that she knows who Jussie is and never believed that the accusations were true. Like her tough character on the show, Taraji is standing by her man.
“I know him and I know his track record. I’m not going to jump on clickbait just because someone says something derogatory about a person I know and love, Taraji continued. “I’m not easily swayed like that. Those little clickbait (reports) weren’t enough to deter me from his immaculate track record. I know the type of activism this young man does in his community, I know that he’s a giver – he’s not an attention-seeker.”
[RELATED: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Not Happy With Jussie Smollett Decision— “This Is a Whitewash of Justice”]
As for the takeaway from the media frenzy, Taraji wants us to believe the victims.
“We should absolutely believe victims,” Taraji adds. “That’s why a lot of people, especially females, feel like they can’t come forward saying they’ve been raped. I believe that’s why we have a whole #MeToo movement, because women have felt they couldn’t come forward because they’d be criminalized in some way. Movements don’t just come out of the sky – movements happen because they’re needed. You have a group of people who haven’t been heard.”