Jussie Smollett’s sister, Jurnee, is standing by his side amid the ongoing investigation into whether the actor paid two men to stage an attack against him in January 2019.
“It’s been f–king painful,” Jurnee, 33, told The Hollywood Reporter, “one of the most painful things my family’s ever experienced — to love someone as much as we love my brother, and to watch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating.”
The actress continued, “I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I’ve tried to not let it make me pessimistic. But everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother.”
In January 2019, the “Empire” actor told police that he was attacked outside his apartment building in Chicago by two men in ski masks who taunted him with homophobic and racial slurs and put a noose around his neck.
Charges of filing false police reports were made, dropped and re-instated in the bizarre case. Jussie, 38, has steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal. In June, it was announced brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who claim Jussie paid them to stage a hate crime, will testify against him.
Jurnee, who stars in the buzzed about HBO series “Lovecraft Country,” reveals that is has been “maddening” not to be able to defend her brother, but insists that the controversial case has not negatively impacted her career.
“We are blessed to have a community of people who know him,” she said, “and know that he wouldn’t do this.”
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