Taraji P. Henson voiced her support for her Empire co-star Jussie Smollett on Tuesday (March 26) after prosecutors in Chicago unexpectedly dropped all charges against him.
“I’m happy that the truth has finally been set free, because I knew it all along,” Henson told USA Today. “We’re all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed.”
The actress insisted that she never doubted Smollett or his story. “I know him and I know his track record,” she said. “I’m not going to jump on clickbait just because someone says something derogatory about a person I know and love. I’m not easily swayed like that. Those little clickbait [reports] weren’t enough to deter me from his immaculate track record. I know the type of activism this young man does in his community, I know that he’s a giver – he’s not an attention-seeker.”
“When I know someone, there’s nothing you can say to make me flip on them, and that’s what we miss in this world,” she continued. “We need people that stand by us. Whatever happened to that? Why are we so easy to believe strangers over people we know?”
Smollett was originally charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report about being the victim of a hate crime. In exchange for the charges being dropped, Smollett agreed to allow the city of Chicago to keep his $10,000 bail. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the decision to drop the charges against him “a whitewash of justice.”