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Jussie Smollett breaks social media silence with bizarre conflation of coronavirus and his hate crime hoax trial

Josh Milton March 26, 2020
Actor Jussie Smollett returned to Instagram after a nearly yearlong hiatus as he awaits trial. (Screen capture via Instagram)

Actor Jussie Smollett returned to Instagram after a nearly yearlong hiatus as he awaits trial. (Screen capture via Instagram)

Jussie Smollett has resurfaced on Instagram with a soulful song and a coronavirus appeal while he awaits trial for allegedly staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself in Chicago.

Almost a year after he walked out of court seemingly a free man, the actor returned to court in February to face the charges that he lied to police about a hate crime that detectives said he had faked.

The 37-year-old took to Instagram to post a video of himself singing Stevie Wonder’s “A Place in the Sun”, his first post on the social media platform since June 2019.

Former Empire actor urges people to practise social distancing amid coronavirus pandemic. 

The post limited which users can comment on it to just verified, blue tick accounts who poured support and praise onto Smollett.

“Quarantine day 421,” the Empire star wrote, referencing the exact amount of days since he first informed law enforcement that two masked men made homophobic and racist remarks to him before tying a noose around his neck and pouring bleach on him in January 2019.

Flanked by attorneys and supporters, actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on February 24, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Flanked by attorneys and supporters, actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on February 24, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

In the video, Smollett appears unshaven and serenaded his 4.8 million Instagram followers.

“Hope y’all are staying safe,” he added, “spread love and kindness… not [coronavirus].”

Jussie Smollett maintains his innocence. 

It was a case that spellbound the world.

Smollett’s charged claims that the assailants yelled “This is MAGA country”, a slogan of US president Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, catapulted him into headlines.

However, Cook County detectives later alleged that Smollett had paid two brothers to stage the attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the Fox drama, where he plays son of a hip-hop mogul Jamal Lyon.

The two brothers police accuse of staging the attackers have long maintained their innocence. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
The two brothers police accuse of staging the attackers have long maintained their innocence. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Prosecutors announced that a grand jury had indicted Smollett on near-identical charges to those dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

His lawyers attempted to appeal the charges, but the Illinois Supreme Court rejected the request.

Throughout the turbulent to-and-through from Smollett, prosecutors and prominent Chicago officials weighing in on the cade, he has maintained his innocence and flatly denied hiring the brothers.

More: Chicago, Coronavirus, Illinois, Instagram, Jussie Smollett

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