NEW YORK, NY—Actor Jussie Smollett was seen on Saturday, July 25 at a protest in front of Trump Tower. The demonstration is believed to have been a Black Lives Matter protest.
Smollett is famous — in part — for his role as Jamal Lyon on the hit television series “Empire.” He also appeared in the sitcom “On Our Own” and the movie “Marshall.” Smollett gained notoriety in early 2019 when he claimed to have been the victim of a racist attack, but was then widely accused of faking the incident for publicity.
He donned a mask during the protest, and was reportedly present with a friend. At one point, Smollett could be seen raising his fist.
Last year, as per an alert from the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Smollett reported that he had been attacked by two males who allegedly put a rope around his neck and poured an “unknown liquid substance” on him. Later on, Smollett said that the attackers had called the area “MAGA country.”
The CPD arrested then released two persons of interest: Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, brothers who worked as Empire extras. Nearly a month after lodging the police report, Smollett was charged with “disorderly conduct/filing a false police report.” The CPD accused him of sending a racist letter to himself and paying the Osundairos a cheque worth $3,500 to stage the attack.
Smollett was cleared of all charges but was ordered by the City of Chicago to pay $130,106.15 to cover the cost of the police officers who worked on the case (including overtime pay). In February 2020, months after a special prosecutor had been assigned to investigate the handling of the case, he was indicted on six counts of making false reports to the police.