Jussie Smollett will be dropped from this season’s remaining two episodes of “Empire,” but producers have not given any indication of what happens next. There have been no reports that the actor, accused of staging a hoax hate crime, will be fired or written out of the show permanently.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” producers of the show, including Lee Daniels, said, according to Deadline Hollywood. “Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply.”
They called the allegations “very disturbing,” but said they are letting the legal process play out.
Smollett on Thursday surrendered to police and was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He was released on a $100,000 bond, and then headed to the “Empire” set, where he told the cast and crew, “I swear to God, I did not do this.”
His only apology was to say, “I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls,” and “I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family.”
Smollett insists three weeks ago two men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach over him, beat him, and yelled, “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan.
Chicago Police in a scathing press conference Thursday allege Smollett staged a hoax to “to further his own public profile,” and because he was “dissatisfied” with his salary.
Image via Wikimedia
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Listen Live: US Supreme Court Arguments in Case That Will Decide Future of Abortion in America
The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday morning will hear oral arguments in what will be a decisive case for the future of abortion in America.
Justices will hear arguments in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, over a Mississippi abortion ban designed to overturn the nearly 50-year old precedent-setting ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Listen live starting at 10 AM ET below via C-SPAN or a Reuters feed:
Trump Tested Positive for COVID Days Before Biden Debate But Told No One, His Former Chief of Staff Says
On Sept. 26, 2020, three days before his first debate with Joe Biden, then-President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 but told no one, according to his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ new book. Trump arrived “late” to the Sept. 29 debate and did not get tested before going on stage.
Trump, who was mildly symptomatic on Sept. 26 when he was first tested, did get tested again and obtained a negative test, but three days after the debate again tested positive and was quickly hospitalized – blaming Gold Star families who wanted to “hug” him for contracting the deadly disease.
“Meadows says Trump’s positive result on 26 September was a shock to a White House which had just staged a triumphant Rose Garden ceremony for supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett – an occasion now widely considered to have been a Covid super-spreader event‘” The Guardian reports.
As Marine One lifted off, heading for a rally on the 26th, the White House physician Sean Conley called.
“Stop the president from leaving,” Meadows says he told him. “He just tested positive for Covid.”
It wasn’t possible to stop Trump but when he called from Air Force One, his chief of staff gave him the news.
“Mr President,” Meadows said, “I’ve got some bad news. You’ve tested positive for Covid-19.”
Trump’s reply, the devout Christian writes, “rhyme[d] with ‘Oh spit, you’ve gotta be trucking lidding me’.”
The Guardian adds that “the stunning revelation of an unreported positive test follows a year of speculation about whether Trump, then 74 years old, had the potentially deadly virus when he faced Biden, 77, in Cleveland on 29 September – and what danger that might have presented.”
Jan. 6 Committee Just Interviewed Top Georgia Elections Official Trump Threatened When Urging to Find Him More Votes
The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has just concluded more than four hours of interviewing Georgia’s top elections official, Brad Raffensperger. Then-President Donald Trump threatened the Republican Secretary of State in a telephone call, parts of which were released to the press, during which the desperate losing Trump infamously said, “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
Speaking to Raffensperger indicates the House Committee is investigating the origins of the insurrection far beyond its D.C. roots.
“We talked about that and everything else leading into the election. That was their focus, because that was where the greatest disinformation was foisted upon our nation,” Raffensperger told The Atlanta Journal Constitution Tuesday.
Back in February Georgia prosecutors had reportedly opened up a criminal investigation into Trump’s demand Raffensperger find him 11,780 more votes. Despite the recorded audio evidence no charges are known to have been filed against Trump for what some say could be criminal solicitation to commit election fraud.
Trump called the Georgia Secretary of State nearly 20 times before the now-infamous call during which he threatened Raffensperger. On the 19th call Trump spoke to Raffensperger for nearly one hour. That call was recorded by Raffensperger’s staff.
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