Jussie Smollett's brother, Jojo Smollett, wants skeptics to reconsider their position.
Earlier this year, the "Empire" star alleged he was the victim of a racial and homophobic attack in Chicago. Since then, Chicago PD has claimed evidence proves the assault was staged. However, Smollett has maintained he's innocent and late last month all 16 felony counts against him were dropped.
Jojo, the eldest Smollett sibling, penned an op-ed for BET on Saturday (April 20) and asked one question that is sure to have both sides divided: "What if Jussie is telling the truth?"
In his lengthy piece, Jojo called the experience, including the way the investigation was handled, "unjust." He also pointed out how several leaks sparked an internal investigation within the Chicago police department, but the damage was already done after the public had already formulated their own opinions.
Elsewhere in the op-ed, Jojo listed out all the inconsistencies made by law enforcement, which he believes ultimately led to the charges being dropped. For instance, the $3,500 check which Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson claimed Smollett paid the two Nigerian brothers who admitted to helping stage the attack. It later turned out that Smollett paid the brothers to assist his fitness goals for an upcoming music video.
Then there was the threatening letter Smollett received just days before the alleged attack. Johnson also claimed Chicago PD believed Smollett sent himself that letter, however, the FBI refuted his statements shortly after.
Jojo went on to highlight Smollett's upcoming projects and directorial work on "Empire," shutting down reports that he was dissatisfied with his finances. "To suggest that he staged his own attack to boost a sagging career is ludicrous," Jojo wrote while adding that the judicial system still has a long way to go when it comes to protecting marginalized people in the U.S.
The loyal sibling revealed he has witnessed the 36-year-old actor "violently awakening from night terrors" since the attack, which he did not want to report to police initially; something Jojo notes is a direct contradiction against Chicago PD's claims that Smollett staged the assault "for publicity."
Read his full op-ed for yourself here.