Jussie Smollett seems to regret using Trump supporters as the villains who allegedly attacked him near downtown Chicago on Jan. 29.
In an exclusive sit-down interview with Robin Roberts, the emotional actor says his doubters would not have questioned his story if he said his attackers were Muslim or Mexican.
The Empire star sat down with Roberts for his first interview that aired on Good Morning America on Thursday.
He seemed more emotional when discussing his doubters than while describing the alleged attack.
“I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate,” he said. “They called me a f**got. They called me a n**ger. And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more. And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now.”
The 36-year-old actor said he was “pissed off” at people who doubted his story.
“Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how can you not believe that? It’s the truth. Then it became a thing, like, oh… it’s not necessarily that you don’t believe this is the truth; you don’t even want to see the truth.”
The actor revealed that he receives plenty of death threats online and believes the backlash is a result of his harsh public criticism of President Donald Trump.
“I come really, really hard against 45,” he told Robin Roberts. “I come really, really hard against his administration, and I don’t hold my tongue.”
Smollett received an outpouring of support from his friends and family after he claimed he was attacked by 2 masked men at 2 a.m. after leaving a Subway restaurant. He said the men recognized him as Jamal Lyon on FOX TV’s Empire musical. He said the men beat him, poured a liquid substance on him and looped a clothesline around his neck while calling him a “ni–er” and “fa–ot”.
Chicago police assigned a dozen investigators to the high-profile hate crime case. But after poring over hundreds of hours of video footage they were unable to locate a single frame that showed the alleged attack.
However, investigators did locate video footage of Smollett carrying an intact Subway sandwich as he calmly strolled into the lobby of a friend’s luxury high rise, past the security desk and into an elevator.
Authorities were reportedly frustrated that Smollett refused to cooperate with their investigation by not turning over his phone records to confirm the timeline of the alleged attack.
On Monday, Smollett turned over a heavily redacted PDF file containing what he claimed were his phone records from that night. But police rejected the file, saying it was useless and insufficient for their criminal investigation.
Chicago police spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, said in a statement, “We are very appreciative of the victim’s cooperation however the records provided do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation.”
Chicago police continue to insist publicly that Smollett is a victim. But the general consensus within the department is Smollett lied about the details of the attack – perhaps for political reasons.
Police sources on Twitter.com say Smollett was likely attacked by a man (or men) he hooked up with on a homosexual dating app that night.
Police plan to interview Smollett again to ask for more phone records when he returns to Chicago to film an episode of Empire.