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Lee Daniels is ‘beyond embarrassed’ he rushed to believe Jussie Smollett

ROLLINGOUT — After initially and reflexively jumping in to defend “Empire” star Jussie Smollett after he was charged with allegedly staging a fake homophobic and racist attack, show creator and director Lee Daniels said he is “beyond embarrassed” about that.

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Lee Daniels (Photo: facebook.com/LeeDanielsEntertainment)

By Terry Shropshire

After initially and reflexively jumping in to defend “Empire” star Jussie Smollett after he was charged with allegedly staging a fake homophobic and racist attack, show creator and director Lee Daniels said he is “beyond embarrassed” about that.

He also indicated that he has his doubts about Smollett’s version of accounts.

“I think that when it happened, I had a flash of me running from bullies. I had a flash of my whole life, of my childhood, my youth, getting beaten,” Lee admits

In a wide-ranging interview with Vulture magazine, Daniels covered multiple aspects of the runaway hit show on Fox that will go off the air after next season. Most pundits and pop culture observers attribute the show’s shutdown to the all-consuming Smollett controversy.

The majority of Americans believe Smollett is guilty of staging a faux beatdown in order to raise his profile and brand and therefore secure more negotiating power to procure a higher salary. The city of Chicago certainly thinks so as it sued Smollett for $100K after he was acquitted of 16 felony charges by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

And Daniels, who also directed the critically-acclaimed movies Precious and The Butler, admits that he has some doubts about Smollett, which may have contributed to not bringing Smollett back for “Empire’s” final season. Daniels indicated that his rush to support and believe Smollett opened him up to disappointment and feeling betrayed.

“If it turned out that he did it, was guilty, and all of it’s accurate,” Daniels said.

“Of course, there’s some doubt,” Lee added in the Vulture interview. “I’m telling you that because I love him so much. That’s the torture that I’m in right now, because it’s literally if it were to happen to your son and your child, how would you feel? You would feel, ‘Please, God, please let there be that glimmer of hope that there is some truth in this story.’ That’s why it’s been so painful. It was a flood of pain.”

This article originally appeared in Rollingout.com

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. flow2

    flow2

    June 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    @RollingOut @RoyalTeeATL @NNPA_BlackPress The show had lost interest for some viewers before the incident.

    • Lynda

      June 17, 2019 at 3:47 am

      The shows were cheesy soap operas. One cliche after another. It glamorized family fails & sin. You can not use god to justify sin. You can’t straddle the fence.

    • Dee

      June 17, 2019 at 8:22 am

      So

      tried of all homo stuff on Tv

    • Jmt

      June 17, 2019 at 9:06 am

      What a snowflake. I figured he’d try to get some sympathy out of this obvious mistake of sticking up for a scumbag like jusse. The whole world knew dude was guilty but lee just wanted to virtue signal so bad he didn’t care.

  2. Rick

    June 17, 2019 at 4:25 am

    So this guy is saying that he Hope’s it’s TRUE? That he would rather know that something horrible like that happened over it all being made up? It seems that is totally backwards. It should be seen as a good thing this never happened. But that’s not how he is looking at it. He would rather have a hate crime happen than JS to have made it up……

  3. Lipstickgeek

    June 17, 2019 at 6:18 am

    He wasn’t acquitted, the charges were dropped.

  4. Andrea Smith

    June 17, 2019 at 6:49 am

    We are not way hing because you do not ever turn your back on your friends. Especially when they need you the most. He once called Jussie his son, well….. kids sometimes let you down. You do not push them down more, you pick them up. Beyond embarrassed???? Come one when we found out that he owed millions to people instead of paying his friends back we stayed in his corner. If he does not figure out how to forgive and rebuild Jussie instead of distancing himself, Jussie will not be the only one destroyed by this… Lee Daniels will be as well. As far as why Empire was canceled….the writing became trash. You started having the characters do things they never would have done. Cookie became irrational in her thinking and unrealistic.

  5. Common sense politics

    June 17, 2019 at 7:18 am

    So this guy is “praying “ that racist white ppl beat this sissy? He would rather that be true than his actor being a liar? Racism will never die bc blacks and others don’t want it to. They benefit so much more from being victims. Yes, I’m not ignoring the fact that some ppl are racist but it has been so diluted by shit like this that the word doesn’t carry much weight anymore. Just like the government had to change u.f.o. to u.a.p. , because the former had become something else entirely so too does the word racism need a new name in order to differentiate between true racism and what the left calls racism. The discipline needed for survival of mankind in the faraway future WILL NOT come from hippies who want to kill babies and stay stoned all the time. It will not be found it pacifying the world. Conservative minds are where the answers will come from. LIFE ISNT ALWAYS FAIR, THATS WHY ITS CALLED LIFE

  6. Layla

    June 17, 2019 at 10:18 am

    I do feel bad for Lee and he’s an amazing director and artist, however, Jussie is guilty and he’s not his son, he shouldn’t feel embarrassed Jussie fooled him. He should be upset Jussie ruined his own reputation that Lee helped to build so gracefully.

  7. Dean H

    Dean H

    June 17, 2019 at 11:27 am

    @RollingOut @RoyalTeeATL @NNPA_BlackPress This is an interesting dilemma for @leedanielsent and othe… https://t.co/ioHyaj2mhB

  8. Spotts

    June 18, 2019 at 9:36 am

    When a friend you love does something so despicable, behavior that is out of character, of course one wouldn’t think it would be possible the friend would be lying about it.
    One thinks, I would never do anything so vile, people I know and love wouldn’t either.
    Don’t beat yourself up Mr. Daniels, you thought Jussie was a good person so you believed him. Trusting people is a gift which is why it should be protected and cherished. Jussie turned out to be a person not worthy of your trust, he’s the one who should be embarrassed.
    By continuing the lie Jussie is proving he doesn’t care about you or anyone else. Hopefully this is a lesson for everyone.

  9. Mr. Truth

    June 19, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    “The city of Chicago certainly thinks so as it sued Smollett for $100K after he was acquitted of 16 felony charges by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.” This is 100% FALSE! He was NOT acquitted. The charges were dropped by a corrupt prosecutor as a political favor. You have to actually go to trial and be found not guilty to be acquitted.

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