While the former ‘Empire’ star was keeping a low profile, it has recently been reported that the actor has checked himself into rehab following a hate crime hoax.
After what one can only describe as an incredibly challenging past few years for the star who began his career as a child actor in 1991, debuting in The Mighty Ducks (1992), Smollett’s journey has unfortunately been marred by controversy and legal battles, stemming from a highly publicized incident that unfolded in January 2019, where Smollett staged a fake hate crime against himself in Chicago and later made false police reports regarding the incident.
This eventually led to Smollett being convicted of five felony counts of disorderly conduct, as he was sentenced in March 2022 to 150 days in county jail. Later, he was released 6 days later on bond while his case was on appeal. Following his sentencing, Smollett made a troubling speech in which he constantly claimed he was not suicidal. “I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go [to jail], I didn’t do it to myself and you must all remember that,” he told the court.
According to his lawyer, the actor was afraid for his safety in prison. Smollett demanded a new trial and filed an appeal of his conviction in March.
However, instead of succumbing to the pressures of fame and constant negativity surrounding his appearance after being found guilty of a hate crime hoax which became publicly known to his fans and within the industry as media houses reported on it every day, which resulted in Fox renewing Empire for the sixth and final seasons without Smollett’s role in the show as Jamal Lyon, who was confirmed to not be returning as the direct consequence of staging an assault and hate crime.
After a tumultuous series of public events, his career has faced many drawbacks, but Smollett has reportedly been working to get his life back on track. Recently, TMZ reported on Wednesday that the Empire star, 41, would be starting treatment at an outpatient rehab facility. “Jussie has had an extremely difficult past few years. He has quietly been working very hard for some time now and we are proud of him for taking these necessary steps,” a close rep for the actor said in a statement to TMZ.
Even though the decision to check himself into rehab is a bold step towards self-improvement and addressing the issues that have plagued him in recent months, Many spectators online can’t help but wonder whether Smollett’s rehab stint is real or not, as it is unclear what he is seeking treatment for specifically. However, to add more doubt to the minds of people on the web, many can’t help but wonder the timing of this report as it comes amid his ongoing appeal in his Chicago criminal case.
However, it was during his highly publicized trial in connection to a Jan. 29, 2019 incident, that it was alleged by the Osundairo brothers — Abimbola “Bola” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo — that they provided Smollett with a variety of illegal substances. One of Smollett’s attorneys, Tina Glandian of Geragos & Geragos, told PEOPLE, “We are gratified that Jussie will be back with his family and loved ones and look forward to a dispassionate review and reversal of the serial injustices visited upon him.”
He also has a history of legal problems relating to drinking, as back in 2007, Smollett also pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement resulting from a DUI stop in which he gave police a false name, pretending to be his brother. Smollett also pleaded no contest to driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit and driving without a valid driver’s license and was sentenced to a fine and three years of probation.
At present, the actor has been working on his new project, a film called “The Lost Holiday,” where he serves as the flick’s director and stars Vivica A. Fox, his former “Empire” co-star.
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