Chicago Police / Reuters / Twitter

Jussie Smollett's $3,500 Check Reportedly Wasn't Written To Pay For Alleged Attack

Andrew Roberts 28 Feb 2019

The saga of Jussie Smollett's alleged "hate crime" attack and his eventual arrest for faking the story and filing a false report has continued to twist and turn in the public eye.

The latest news to come out involves his status on Empire and the check that Chicago police allege was used to pay for the attack. New information could poke holes in that theory and it seems we might not know the full story yet.

Twists And Turns

Flickr |

At this point, no one can firmly confirm or deny anything about the Smollett case. What is clear and factual is the timeline of the events and the police reports that have been released.

The actual details of the night, the attack, any planning, and Smollett's hospital visit are all in the public record -- real or not. So we can confirm a crime was reported, treatment was administered, and the police have been investigating to the point of Smollett becoming a suspect for planning his own attack as a hoax.

The truth and details beyond that are still theories or speculation.

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The Initial Story

Many are convinced that Smollett did manufacture his own attack, including Chicago police. The initial story began to fall apart after police couldn't locate the attack on camera, Smollett reportedly wouldn't provide phone records, and no suspects could be identified through the description provided by Smollett.

Once the two brothers at the center of the incident were arrested as suspects and eventually released, that is when police began to suspect the actor for faking the attack.

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Now A Suspect And Arrest

Flickr | ezeshedrack002

Smollett was arrested for filing a false police report on February 21st. Since then, public support for the actor has swayed and many have gotten behind the police's take on the situation.

That includes the details where Smollett allegedly concocted the hoax to earn more money and raise his status on Empire, that he paid the brother's $3,500 via check for the attack, and that he also faked a threatening letter that had been mailed prior to the alleged attack.

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'Empire' Reaction

Giphy | HULU

The response from Empire has been mixed and strange. While the producers, cast, and crew were fully behind the actor before -- especially when rumors said Smollett was set to be written out of the show and it led to the attack -- some of that changed when the police arrested him.

Smollett had been planned for the final scenes of this current season but was eventually cut. He's still on the show, though, and hasn't been removed to this point.

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Holes In Police Story?

But since his arrest, there have been several holes placed in the police's story about the incident.

TMZ is reporting that the check that was allegedly used to pay for the attack may have actually been for training that the brothers were undertaking related to a music video project with Smollett.

On top of that, the police claims that Smollett wrote the threatening letter to himself goes against what federal authorities claim, casting doubt on some of the aspects of the story.

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Still Has Support

Giphy | HULU

Smollett also still has support, even if it is thin. Obviously, with such a sensitive issue, sensitive topics like race and sexuality, the realities of either outcome in the case -- the attack was real or the attack was staged -- are very serious. Many feel betrayed if Smollett has lied, but he does still have defenders.

A big chunk according to TMZ is the executives behind Empire. They reportedly have a hard time believing the police story about Smollett, especially in relation to his pay on the show.

Terrence Howard is also out as a major supporter of Smollett despite reports he was furious on the set. The actor and TV father to Smollett posted to Instagram saying, ""All your lil homies got you... We love the hell outta you."

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But Jokes And Accusations Are Still Coming

Despite the back-and-forth nature of the story, many are firmly in the camp that Smollett is guilty. The difference is his level of guilt and what sparked him to do the alleged hoax.

A major feature in The Hollywood Reporter chalks it up to the pressures of Hollywood and stardom. Others feel that it was our current victim culture that sparked. And then you have some that feel it was fully politically motivated.

Others are out to make jokes, especially about the details of Smollett's story and the aspects of the hoax.

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Charles Barkley Still Owns It

One of the standout comments after Smollett's arrest actually came on television courtesy of Charles Barkley on TNT's NBA coverage.

Barkley not only jokes about Smollett using a check to allegedly pay for the hoax, he also can't help dropping comments throughout the entire halftime segment.

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Subway Sandwiches

And past that, he also made jokes about the claim that Smollett was attacked after getting Subway at 2 a.m. while in Chicago.

If you need a laugh to just shake off the craziness, it's worth it. The situation is still far from resolved and is very serious, but the tug-of-war we've seen needs a little levity.

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