(CHICAGO) — Jussie Smollett’s eldest brother Jojo is speaking out in defense of his brother, who’s kept mum ever since the charges that he lied to police about a hate crime attack were dropped last month.
In a lengthy op-ed on BET titled “What If Jussie Is Telling The Truth?,” JoJo passionately defended his brother and commented on the “public persecution” that Jussie suffered after coming forward about the incident.
“Within less than three months, [Jussie’s] life has been turned upside down as my family and I have witnessed him endure unrelenting attacks to his character and reputation,” JoJo wrote.
“This entire process quickly devolved from a focus on him as a victim of assault, to him being falsely accused and held responsible for a crime that was perpetrated against him.”
JoJo also revealed that his brother has been suffering from PTSD.
“Jussie is as strong as iron, but following an attack like this, there is a normal and natural amount of post trauma that mostly anyone should expect to suffer,” JoJo wrote.
“I have literally seen him violently awakening from night terrors, following the assault. Some of my siblings, as well as Jussie’s partner and closest friends have seen similar things.”
In the essay, JoJo made it clear that Jussie had no real motive to mastermind a hoax..
“To suggest that he staged his own attack to boost a sagging career is ludicrous,” Jojo wrote, listing some of Smollett’s projects and recent success.
“He wouldn’t need to roll around on the icy ground of a Chicago street, staging an attack on himself to make this happen.”
As previously reported, after the charges against Smollett were dropped, the city of Chicago filed a civil complaint against Smollett for his refusal to reimburse it $130,000 in overtime payments to police.
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