Robin Roberts, Jussie Smollett

ABC anchorwoman Robin Roberts dismissed speculation that she was too soft on actor Jussie Smollett, who stands accused of faking his racist, homophobic attack last month in Chicago.

Smollett, 36, sat down with Roberts for his first interview after he claimed he was attacked by 2 Trump supporters on Jan. 29. The interview aired on GMA on Thursday.

Roberts was heavily criticized for being too soft on the actor during the interview.

NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck wrote, "Roberts gave Smollett a soft platform to spin his tall tale less than 24 hours before it was blown to pieces."

But others say Roberts, who is openly lesbian, may have inadvertently assisted cops in their investigation of the openly homosexual Empire star.

ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams explained to Roberts that comments the actor made during the interview could be used against him.

For example, Roberts asked Smollett if he believed the 2 shadowy figures seen in surveillance video could possibly be his attackers.

Smollett responded, "I don't have any doubt in my mind that that's them. Never did."

"So now he's sort of boxed in," Abrams told Roberts.

Smollett was not aware that investigators had already identified the men in the video as his friends, Abel Osundairo and his younger brother Ola Osundairo.

Roberts also didn't know about the brothers until after the interview.

"When I sat down with Jussie it was Tuesday night in Chicago, at the time to give his first account, publicly give his first account of what he said happened," Roberts said. "At that time, on Tuesday, police officers were saying that his account was consistent, it was credible, and that he was being cooperative. This was all before the interview aired on Thursday, and then we found out about the brothers."

TMZ reports that a grand jury may hear a case against Smollett for filing a false police report, which is a felony in Illinois. He could face up to three years in prison.
 

 

Photos by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images, Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN.com

  • Jethro

    Damn, is anything else going on in the world... you know, like Benedict Donald getting sued left and right for misusing the office of POTUS for personal gain?

  • Pitty Patty

    Jussie just set the plight of gay black men back 10 years. I just don't understand why he would risk his career doing something so stupid....

  • Renee26

    Anything will do at this point...even a political post knowing I hate those ?

  • Itzgoingdown2

    The biggest problem with gay black men is they 're infecting black women and young black boys/men with HIV and then turn around and blame heterosexual BLACK WOMEN and Men for spreading the disease.

  • JazzyBossyJen
  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    I saw part of the interview, and yeah I thought she was kind of soft on him. She didnt seem to ask the tough questions... like pressing him on why he refused to turn over his phone to the police when they asked. Clearly she wanted his story to be true.

  • Wayup!

    wait whos broke down room is THIS?

  • WinterIsComing

    Oh please. Oprah and Barbara Walters would never! Good journalists run their interviews like a cross examination-start off with soft balls then gut them with the hard stuff.

  • WinterIsComing

    Agreed!

  • Ni Ni

    Listen, Jesse is tiiiiedd!!!
    Plus, I'm tied of trying to spell his name right. Messing up black history month with his foolishness.

  • WinterIsComing

    All it’s missing is batman sheets for drapes.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Yup. I remember Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes (RIP) was one of the best at doing that.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    And now hate crime will be under scrutiny... Everytime a gay person is assaulted/murdered more than not it's assessed as a HATE CRIME!! See this is what happens when special attention is given. FOH...

  • Tinytoon
  • JazzyBossyJen

    Looks like his new pay grade! Ain’t nobody got time for Juicy lying a**..smdhlol

  • Tinytoon

    Can we talk about Steve Harvey and Monique interview please?

  • Renita

    They should make him take a FBI lie detector test!!!

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    And why RR was given the task to interview KNOWING DAM WELL she was going to be soft on her fellow GANG MEMBER!

  • what?why

    She was soft on him, for a journalist. Lesson #1 Don't jump on the band wagon - listen, read, and make your OWN judgement.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    No he messed up the Alphabet Gangs rep...

  • Chaseboogie The Prince

    The only reason he went on show with Robin Roberts is because she was black and lesbian. He played himself.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    Yes SHE WANTED IT TO BE TRUE AND WAS CONVINCED IT WAS !

  • Topic Influencer

    Last time Robin tried to be hard on an interview subject it resulted in Chris Brown throwing chairs backstage. She can't win. Leave her alone

  • wonderwoman

    Beside charging him with filing a false claim. How about charging him with a hate crime for lying about being attack for being gay, and black.

  • Pitty Patty

    She pissed Chris THE fawk OFF! LMAO

  • Topic Influencer
  • TransMichelle

    What sad times these are when a gay black guy has to pay 7 thousand dollars to have himself lynched by another black person! Amazing! I guess there's not enough racism going around.

  • Tinytoon

    OMG, I totally forgot about that interview. That was painful to watch.

  • tia

    Yeah, they may have thought he was convincing,
    plausible or whatever; but his ass is a liar. Point blank period.

  • Topic Influencer

    I just watched it again. Painful frfr

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    I am still not calling him a liar.

    But, honnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnney.

    This is real life drama.
    People never cease to cause a stir.

  • Alextra Ballard

    Robin Roberts is just soft spoken,that's just her demenor...ion care who would have interviewed Smollet he still was gon lie. He would still insist he was attacked by 2 white meniz walkin around 2 a.m in the mornin with bleach and a rope.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    This woman did her job .... now wtf ...... focus on this clown azz fool instead ... Robyn did nothing wrong here .... come on now https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8da4d8422e27bbfc104edfcf9e97b4d2639b1c3ba2774d1e84418218e262a94d.gif

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Probably contacted them (GMA) To get interviewed ..... this clown azz man smh

  • MrsSpice1

    I cant WAIT TO HEAR THE TRUTH ?....but this is getting good and im here for all the sugar honey ice tea.???...in the meantime Jussie u better see if the Sentinelese Will let u come chill a few months on they forbidden island bruh...hey its better then jail where the booty warrior awaits?!!!

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Messing up black history month with his foolishness.
    __________
    embarrassing https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c60e4bde84d29fc6e8e3c273e08211babb8127f7e929a1cfba8ea28fc5d1535.gif as hell chile smh

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    If he lied to damn cops .... what makes anyone think an Inteviewer would be any different ... whew shyt chile .... https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f34da3e46b4f75aef74b115fe15b2585166030f4800f6ddbd6d102ba85d0edc.gif

  • Ni Ni

    Lmao, that's most of our facial expression for real

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Cops lie all the time especially to give suspects a false sense of security.

  • xenaD

    I still will not speculate! The truth will reveal itself ?????

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Sweet Lordt !!

  • Alextra Ballard

    Laaawd Nancy Pelosi tawkin bout she is sympathetic to Smollet plight... somebidy please tell Pelosi her job is to handle the other liar name trump...we gotz this ova here...thx in advance

  • Judi Jupiter

    Dan Abrams has fifty million jobs... lol.. I never miss LivePD...

  • Ebony Starr

    Robin allowed him the rope in which to hang himself, no pun intended.

  • NeverSurprised

    Don't need to. The "Ola Ola Eh" Brothers both turned over their phones to police. They have all of his texts and calls before, during and after the time he claims he was attacked. They have more than enough to convict him.

  • TheWildChild

    This story keeps getting more and more bizarre...? His IG timeline of events plugged many doubts to his story on the night he rumbled with the Full Force Krush Groove looking dudes. He chronicling how tired he was from his flight but found energy to go out on foot at 11° degree (he posted) for a damn sammich' at 2am ...? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/952b0e836b89355567f63dc2cfb850f104b06f04b196301c14a7a2d1da1abc89.png

  • http://Bossip.com/ ohplease

    rofl...made me spit my soda

  • TheWildChild

    There's still a lot of people riding for JussNochio ? ??

  • KcoolMuziq

    Al Sharpton Says Jussie Smollett Should ‘Face Accountability to the Maximum’ If Attack Was Staged.

    “If it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum,” the MSNBC host and civil rights leader said during a Sunday airing of his program “Politics Nation.”.

  • gellie

    I agree. At that point, he already knew there were growing doubts surrounding his claims. Guilty or not, he had no business doing interviews and running his mouth. That was a loss for him no matter how friendly the interviewer.

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    Is Robin Roberts a lesbian if so what race is her lover? Asking for a friend.

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    What did trump lie about

  • MsPam

    Look at God we finally agree on something. ????

  • Mielle Downey

    You its bad when a self identified race pimp is not impressed with you.

  • Blak

    Yes she's a lesbian and like all black gay and lesbians in Hollywood her significant other is white

  • Lolly Asher

    Cept for Queen Latifah.

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    I figured that

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    1. Yes.
    2. White

  • Eileen

    black lezzie and white girlfriend...smh at alll this stuff

  • IAINTMADATCHA

    Tuh. Mr. Sharpton has learned his lesson. I know many, many people remember Ms. Tawana Brawley.

  • Eileen

    Robin your skills are waning! I could see the nutcase was lying!

  • Eileen

    Shocking!!!!

  • IAINTMADATCHA

    LOLOL Loved bowlegged lou & them, tho.

  • Eileen

    I agree!!!! Shocking! Ok how much was his check?

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    Condoleezza Rice is too.

  • Eileen

    crazi lololololol bf are the most!!!

  • Eileen

    Really? LOL

  • Eileen

    Because he is confused like all people with sexually interesting proclivities...

  • Eileen

    Interesting now go to Atlanta and sound off the Alert!!! But they dont care... they are selfish confused black men.

  • Dun Dilly

    and her boo is Brazile

  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs
  • Bonita

    We Black folks aint takin this L. Since Jussie is half White and gay, White folks and the LGBT community is going to have to take this L. We don't want him.

  • Shira Harding-James

    Complete mess that’s what this is!

  • http://sexycub.website luvmyjuju

    Jussie might be going to jail not Robin focus on him. I watch evil lives here and most of them folks don't know they live with killers.

  • Shira Harding-James

    Wait you said Full Force, I can not!

  • Karen Brady

    Teeeeee heeeeeeeeeeeee. You sayin' we throwing this ball back over the net to their side? I'm with it.

  • Sweetness

    I'm not even going to up vote this. Nope....Noooooo...NERP! ???

  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs

    Lol

  • free

    i love al but he should remain silent on hoaxes.

  • Ni Ni

    Whaaaat?!?!????

  • Ni Ni

    I am hollering?

  • ALLMINE?

    I can't ????? focus on him. Lol

  • dontgetblocked

    I don't like Robin. She's part of the gay agenda. Jussie got her out here looking like a big dummy too.

  • dontgetblocked

    Soft spoken? She sounds and has characteristics of a man.

  • Ghost

    ???

  • PlayerP

    I'm so mad I'm laughing...the jokes I've thought of from this visual alone.
    But no...I can't...back to a solemnity state...ummm...shame...yeah!

  • angelpat2812

    Yes! That interview was a big mistake! That was another one of his problems, running his mouth constantly. The "truth" doesn't need a whole lot of extra. It stands alone! But he was lying, so he had to continue building on each lie bcuz neither "lie" had a strong foundation to stand on. And I don't care what anybody says, I believe Robyn knew he was lying the whole time she was interviewing Jussie. She just had to keep it professional. I don't care a lot for "Barbara Walters" but where is she when need her? She would have made Jussie very uncomfortable with his storytelling. Anyways, Hollyweird is extremely quiet now. Can't even hear a pin drop. But I'm not surprised because most of the time they stick together whether they are speaking out loud or just being silent. I personally believe the only jury or justice we are going to get is from the Social Media Platform. Right now we are the biggest and the brightest when it comes trying to hold Jussie accountable for his lies. The verdict is out!

  • angelpat2812

    Yes! That interview was a big mistake! That was another one of his problems, running his mouth constantly. The "truth" doesn't need a whole lot of extra. It stands alone! But he was lying, so he had to continue building on each lie bcuz neither "lie" had a strong foundation to stand on. And I don't care what anybody says, I believe Robyn knew he was lying the whole time she was interviewing Jussie. She just had to keep it professional. I don't care a lot for "Barbara Walters" but where is she when need her? She would have made Jussie very uncomfortable with his storytelling. Anyways, Hollyweird is extremely quiet now. Can't even hear a pin drop. But I'm not surprised because most of the time they stick together whether they are speaking out loud or just being silent. I personally believe the only jury or justice we are going to get is from the Social Media Platform. Right now we are the biggest and the brightest when it comes trying to hold Jussie accountable for his lies. The verdict is out!

  • PlayerP

    Bruh, like what is it? I so confused by his actions. What was the end game? I don't know him or his family personally, but this seems so out of character. Extremely extreme, ya know? Who were you seeking attention from exactly? Completely baffled.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    Ohwww I didn't know that. So all of these top black women who are always without a man are gay? What about the D.C mayor?

  • Bashi22

    I saw Ava Duvenay still saying “ she blindly believe Chicago PD”. Comparing Laquan case to Jussie. The never of these narcissistic celebrities this they can control people free thinking.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    *snickers under my breath*

  • Bashi22

    It’s a white lady because you successfully black love white or non-black.

  • angelpat2812

    I agree. I bet they have text messages and everything else on those "Smart Phones." Just think about it, we do everything on these Smart Phones. And Jussie is clearly not the sharpest tool in the toolbox. I mean, why would he use two Nigerians from another country to pull off this crime. I know he figured if they leave the Country he wouldn't get caught. But what about if he got caught and he did. He had to know those nuts would flip easily if they got caught. Think about it guys, those guys are from another Country, being interrogated by our Police and FBI, in a foreign country(United States). I'm sure they were scared to death when they where apprehended. Imagine being in Japan, and you get arrested for something. That would scare me to death too! I bet it didn't take those two Nigerians no time to flip the switch on Jussie. Smh

  • Mikayla

    Not even a sammich. He claimed he went for a salad. He called dude who left the house bare of food, knowing Jussie was coming, to ask dude if he wanted anything. The sandwich ? was for dude. Jussie was just casually doing food runs in the freezing cold.

  • TheWildChild

    Wait, wasn't he staying at the Loews Hotel ? whom has round the clock dining? Stayed at this hotel before and walked late in the area when lots of tourist are out. And tons of buildings means tons of cameras, which why I felt safe. But ain't nobody walking nowhere at 2am for a sammich' or sale.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BuAN5V5hXjK/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=17k99tzy2zkby

  • dru and neil

    Lots of people stood up for him immediately and it’s not their fault he was dishonest. Some stories are so big that you don’t even question them because who would lie about such a thing, and why? Goes both ways though, some situations are so complex and terrible, they just couldn’t be true in people’s minds. It’s the reason some folks don’t believe the holocaust happened to this day.

  • dru and neil

    It’s hard for sane people to wrap their minds around insane actions. Sometimes sh*t just doesn’t have a logical explanation though.

  • dru and neil

    Has he ever apologized for that?

  • Passion

    The brothers had to be following the fallout on social media, and once the grainy video was released I wonder if they had any communication with JS. Why did they come back knowing that was them, unless JS ghost them and they decided to tell it all!

  • Bashi22

    Exactly but Ava trying to perpetuate that all people are dump. She needs to chill before her high horse ? get ripped away from her. She thinks Oprah and Gayle will help her. Hate when celebrities black people thinks other black people cannot thinks for themselves.

  • dru and neil

    I wonder why she couldn’t just stay out of it altogether. A lot of folks need to just let him fight his own battles. There was no reason for her to say anything.

  • taurus_32

    You are correct about Barbara Walters. She would’ve gotten a confession out of him ?

  • taurus_32

    I think Barbara Walters could’ve gotten him to crack or he would’ve ended the interview ?

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    lolololololol!!!! Yep

  • Wayup!

    Oops!!!

  • Bashi22

    She just want to be relevant lol ? as if her Wrinkles in a time movie ? didn’t do so well at the box office.

  • joel adams

    Chile now they saying he don’t wanna sit down with investigators again.
    I’m over it
    ANY victim of a crime is always cooperative in the investigation

  • dru and neil

    That movie was not all that you’re right about that. Folks need to leave classic books alone unless you can do it justice.

  • Rhyme and Reason

    You know he probably went ghost on them!

    He didn’t give them any assurances, wasn’t going to chance paying them what it would be worth to someone NOT to talk.

    I would have sent them both more like 3 million a piece through an anonymous source, in “hopes” they wouldn’t talk, or say the least!

    He’s going to spend millions on high-powered lawyers and restitution!

  • Rhyme and Reason

    Sadly, they spoke before they even gave the story time to unfold!

    Now it’s difficult to admit he was outright lying. Ava, Al Sharpton, Kamala Harris, and many others jumped the gun.

    I can see cast members and producers supporting him for various reasons, but I’m sure they’re pissed!

  • Chicagowise

    Update: Jussie orchestrated attack, because there was no reaction to the hate mail he received! LMAO! Drama queen!

  • Wayup!

    All of this to get people to watch the Funeral scene of Empire or whatever? ridiculous

  • Bashi22

    She and power house Oprah thinking it was going to be a hit.

  • Rhyme and Reason

    He wanted to be an A-list celebrity without putting in the work!

    If you never watched Empire, many won’t know him! The show’s ratings continue to decline, even though still in the running!

    He wanted the status of Michael B. Jordan, Sterling K. Brown, or Denzel’s son John David, but he hasn’t done a recent (critically acclaim) major film or a mainstream, crossover TV show like “This is Us,” been nominated for an Oscar, or have the box office receipts, which makes an A-list actor!

  • ?? Kari ?????????

    Jussie was creditable at the time of the interview, but guess what, it was his story. Now they have the guys he hired and the truth is coming out.

  • Logan Roberts

    That's what GMA get, trying to have the first scoop before everybody else.

  • Shira Harding-James

    “We’re gonna kick your f’n a$$”
    House party!

  • https://www.facebook.com/miesha.weststrong Miesha West-Strong

    Credible at the time of the interview? His story was flawed from jump as far as I saw. Dude wanted attention, now he got it. PERIOD.

  • WiseGui

    I’m not a fan of Barbara’s racist ass either but she used to do what you call hard hitting investigative journalism. Gone are the days when the journalist used to actually hit the trenches and do work then leave you to make your own informed decision.

    Robyn new very well he was lying but because the journalists have become celebrities themselves and are friends with them they obviously go easy in hopes that they’ll be the first to get the scoop in the future.

  • SeehereSeehere

    You reported that Michael Cohen’s lawyers were representing him. That turned out to be FAKE NEWS. Now it’s reported a grand jury will be assembled tomorrow (Tuesday). We will see tomorrow whether or not it’s fake news.

  • Mielle Downey

    He actually was now he has Pugh the lawyer who got the cops off who assaulted Laquan McDonald. It just goes from bad to worse for Juci.

  • wigmon68

    Monico was hired by Smollett for a brief period (day or so), at least according to Monico.

    "The roller coaster of fast news this week also included several outlets reporting that the Empire star had hired Michael
    Monico, a former federal prosecutor in Illinois’ Northern District and an attorney most recently known for representing Michael Cohen. (Cohen, who is President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, hired Monico to help represent him regarding federal charges.) On Thursday, Monico told a Chicago talk radio program, WGN’s “The Roe Conn Show,” that he was hired by Smollett "at the moment." But Smollett's team confirmed, on Saturday night to Forbes, that Monico does not represent the actor at this time."

  • wigmon68

    There is a difference between people that know him showing support and the media and politicians going out and blaming groups of people instead of waiting to see what really happened. Some of those politicians who have back tracked on their initial statements are now taking a "wait and see" approach. I would say unless you are personally connected to the person making the claim, nothing should be said until facts are available.

  • Black Dynomiiiite!!!

    LMAO!!!!!