By Sandra Rose  | 


Queen Latifah is standing by her pal Jussie Smollett as he faces accusations of paying 2 brothers to beat him up as part of a hate crime hoax.

The ex-Empire actor claimed he was the victim of a hate crime outside his Chicago, Illinois apartment on Jan. 29.

The 36-year-old told police two white male Trump supporters beat him up and tied a noose around his neck while yelling homophobic and racial slurs.

The actor is now facing an uncertain future and a felony charge for allegedly filing a false police report.

He has been dropped as a regular on Empire, but Queen Latifah, who appeared on Empire as Carlotta Brown, is standing by her friend.

Latifah, far right, posed with (L-R) Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollet, Benjamin Bratt, Taraji P. Henson, Quincy Brown and Lee Daniels in this photo dated May 15, 2017 in New York City.

In an interview with Yahoo News, the openly lesbian actress tells host Zainab Salbi: "The guy I've seen has always been someone who cares about people, who cares about others, and who's very kind and who's always been cool and sweet.

"That's just the guy I know. So until I can see some definitive proof, which I haven't seen yet, then, you know, I gotta go with him until I see otherwise."


In related news, Good Morning America anchorwoman Robin Roberts, who is also openly lesbian, grappled with putting aside her sexuality to get her job done as a journalist when she interviewed the openly homosexual Smollett last month.

During The Cut's "How I Get It Done" event at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on Monday, Roberts said she tried to be as "neutral" as possible but she acknowledged the pressure she felt to represent the LGBT community.

"I'm a black gay woman, he's a black gay man. He's saying that there's a hate crime, so if I'm too hard, then my LGBT community is going to say, 'You don't believe a brother,' if I'm too light on him, it's like, 'Oh, because you are in the community, you're giving him a pass.'"

Now pushing 60, Roberts regrets fumbling the chance to conduct a career-defining interview.

"It was a no-win situation for me," she explained.

Smollett is currently out on bond. His next court appearance is March 14.

Photos by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images, Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

  • WhoKnew


  • T Willis

    I stand by the queen ??

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    You go right on Latifah ... I got my own damn mind and eyes .... carry on! ....

  • Ronnie Hill

    Jus like a FAT dude

  • Alicia.Ashe

    What do you guys think read this comment on YouTube video, I think it may have been paternity court can’t remember:
    When me and my husband were dating he got child support papers in the mail regarding a disabled 6 year old he fathered. He pays child support but wants nothing to do with the child. Fast foward a few years we get married and have a two year old and he is very involved in her life. Is he considered a deadbeat if he just pays child support?

  • WhoKnew

    Yes, he is unfortunately a deadbeat dad. Every child. Every child. Every child, especially a child with a disability needs their father's extra love, extra nurturing and extra care. It really does make a difference in them developmentally wise and it's the right thing to do in the eyes of God.

  • MissMy2Cents

    At the end of the day she is one of very few who do so. . .let them be great in their support for each other. She may be able to convince him to just "come clean" about his shenanigans. Admitting you have a problem is step one on the road to healing.

  • Whirl

    I’ll suspend judgment until such times as all the evidence avails itself. In the meantime I’m pleased to see a federal judge finally appointed a court monitor to oversee the Chicago Police Department as a result of the department repeatedly violating the civil rights of private citizens

  • dontgetblocked

    Sometimes you be a friend while remaining silent. Now she's out there looking like boo boo the fool too.

  • Elevated Soul

    The picture of Jussie and Robin together have me dying with laughter!

    The caption is: Jussie is conveying, "You know I'm lying right but sis go along with me because we both gay" and Robin caption says: "Niggah pleeeeeze!".

  • Ms. EJ

    I think so and I could never date let alone marry a man that didn't take care of his child. If anything, I would have encouraged him to be in his child's life.

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    Sorry, but that pic of Latifah looking like Dijonay Jones threw me off for a minute. *goes back to read entire post*

  • MsSapphire9800

    She is a die hard friend....I respect her for standing by him even if he is wrong...we all need one friend like Queen Latifah.

  • Blaque Mahogany

    Yes, he's a deadbeat and she's not much better.

  • Anunnaki, in A twilight Zone

    He's just 1 in millions that lie everyday. Hell some folks are even married to them, some gave birth to them, lots of them sit in church with them. Thousands if them on YouTube, the media are a beast with lies, he just thought. He was white, nope you'd a nixxa in American, can't get away with the lil white Girl syndrome. Next....shruggs

  • Ms. EJ

    I know his sister Jurnee, as well as, her husband Josiah Bell have disabled their comments on a family photo and other photos on IG. However, before they did they were getting all kinds of rough comment's, being cursed out online and everything. It was the first time I ever seen anything negative on both of their IG's. He and the actress Gabby are bestfriends and she took some hit's, too in the comment section. I began to not believe him once he got on stage and stated that he was the gay Tupac. It just gave me cause for pause.

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    I'm so glad I missed that.

  • Elevated Soul

    What does that have to do with this case though?

  • ShadesofEMPRESS

    He seem to not be giving up.

  • bella28498 .

    Of course she does

  • Logan Roberts

    So the saga continues ?

  • Eileen

    lock him up and send her to a psychiatrist!

  • Eileen


  • Marlika

    La don’t make me stop loving you!?

  • SmellyMel

    C’mon La! Now you know!

  • Topic Influencer

    MissHarlem?Come get Dana! She tripping!

  • SandraRose

    Like most homosexuals, Robin let her sexuality get in the way of a career-defining interview. What heterosexual journalist puts her sexuality before her job?

  • Ghost

    Se was asked to stand by him...she is respected in the black and gay community and can afford to take a L ! After this fiasco is over and he is found to be a sociopath felon...she’ll be able to apologize for her wrong judgement and still be cool... but I am giving her the serious side ?!

  • JazzyBossyJen
  • Dahl

    Don’t care. I’m just interested in the fact that Madame Blogrunner is going to skip past Benjamin Bratt like he’s not in the pic as well. Must be another of Carlotta’s hallucinations...

    “Latifah, far right, posed with (L-R) Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollet, Taraji P. Henson, Quincy Brown and Lee Daniels in this photo...”

  • Elevated Soul

    So true....She should have been professional instead of worrying about who she was possibly offending.

  • the guest

    as he faces accusations of paying 2 brothers to beat him up as part of a hate crime hoax.


    What is the world coming too?

  • Rhyme and Reason

    “That’s what friends are for!”...sorry!

    Jussie lied, and QL knows it, but is supporting her friend because she knows how easily warped and delusional individuals CAN become in their business!

    Not to make excuses for Jussie’s stupid and wasteful actions, it was beyond dumb and narcissistic!

  • Wreckognize Game

    I wanna believe him. They did not show real proof yet.

  • MNjumpoffacliff

    My kids and I already discussed our turning in each other if we do wrong. It's okay to still love someone without condoning

  • imright

    they are both gay black actors thats why they are sticking together????? good for them. Jussie is liar.?

  • Katherine

    Latifah is just saying that she's going to wait for due process. She doesn't feel like she's seen the evidence yet, until then she'll give him the benefit of the doubt because she knows him personally.

  • brooklyn23

    Uhm did Benjamin bratt do something to Sandra that I never got wind of? Why wasnt his name mentioned above in the write up along with every1else?

  • brooklyn23


  • angelpat2812

    Agreed! We can also agree that JussieS is the only man QueenL will ever stand for! She needs to have several seats. Anybody that don't know this negro is a liar don't have any freaking common sense!

  • Li-Wright

    Smollett's has a court date this month.

  • Janice Collins

    He identified the two dark skin brothers in the tape as the two white people shouting MAGA.

  • Janice Collins

    But did the city of Chicago form a task force to find two nonexistent white people.

  • Alextra Ballard

    No yew don't Kween....but I git why yew said what yew said...yew ain foolin nobidy

  • robert mckeague

    I know that at least 4 people have told me that is when they knew he was lying. What was he thinking by making that reference? I am afraid that he might be using.

  • robert mckeague

    My friend who is married to a Chicago cop said that there has never been a murder case that had 14 detectives placed on it. It was like a senator was killed or something.

  • SpiceGirl

    "benefit of the doubt"
    Is that what your doing Dana?? Well Alright

  • Tee Tee

    Dana Girlllllll stay out of this mess!!!!!

  • Karen Brady

    Alright Cleo. Whatevs.

  • Trey

    Shes gay.....nothing to see here....Bussie lied and will take a plea

  • Karen Brady


  • Karen Brady

    Sociopath felon?

  • Lady_Elle

    Queen Latifah is straddling the fence...

  • Justice For TM

    I too stand by him. All our people did was go against each other for black history month. It’s not that serious. #DivideAndConquer

  • Justice For TM

    You never told a lie before? A lie is a lie.

  • Justice For TM

    One of the reasons that I could not see a future with my ex is because he was not 100% involved in his 2 kids life. I didn’t like it. Turn off.

  • Shaylove1975

    I don't see him and Gabby hanging out anymore or him and Tarhonda.

  • Tiffany Miller

    I smell a plea as well. Black folks have two enemies... ourselves and them.. Somehow... when its US, we deflect to them and what THEY can get away with to justify the MUCKED UP STUFF WE DO

  • Tiffany Miller

    I'm tired of Jussie, Kelz, AND them two boyz that's outing MJ.


    Say that! I'm with you Tiff!

  • JNation

    Chicago PD took the two brothers’ side over Jussie’s, and because the world wanted Jussie’s story to be a lie, folks jumped on the bandwagon and believed them. Hopefully Jussie is justified by his truth when it’s all over.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    That Alphabet Gang SCRONG! Them mufugas gone have each other's back!

  • Marlika

    and that ? ?

  • gail jones


  • gail jones


  • gail jones

    Damn, you went waaaay back! Lmao!

  • samuel severino

    You are wrong. The world wanted Jussies story to be true. Look at all of the politicians, celebrities and the LGBTQPA crew that rushed to condemn his attackers and somehow blame Trump. Look at all of the intense media coverage he received condemning his attackers and MAGA supporters. Look at how fast the anti lynching bill which had been sitting there since December got passed. He was getting millions of likes for his story on IG and so was every celeb that supported him.

  • wigmon68

    I think cpd made it clear they used statements and evidence to determine who they believe committed a crime.

    I believe there is a court date next week, but probably not much newsworthy until trial.

  • wigmon68

    In the eyes of the Lord, yes. In the eyes of the law, no.

  • gail jones


  • samuel severino

    Technically they didn’t out him because Michael wasn’t a pedophile. That is why the show flopped because people were not believing their story.

  • Lolly Asher

    Queen's not salty about the gay tupac thing at least? I mean Tupac??

  • samuel severino

    She lied for over 2 decades about being gay so of course she is going to support a liar.

  • wigmon68

    March 14th, just to say "not guilty".

  • gail jones

    Exactly. All them lies they tryna describe ain't causing all that kinda confusion, trouble, and ?. Are we sure Ann... ain't Jurnee?

  • AndSo

    There are too many other things that she could throw her weight behind, but this? Nah. Queen L is wrong to waste her influence on this one. A real shame.

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    Lbvs ?

  • Trace da Ace

    Nerp!!! Not Jussie....not today....pass...

  • PlayerP

    True, however, I don't want to continue "their" narrative of us either.
    I'd much rather us be on some, The Spook Who Sat By The Door vigilance.

  • PlayerP

    Sad but true. Lawyers and cops are paid liars...playing in the gray.
    However, I think EVERYBODY is one makes it out alive, and at the end of the day no person breathing is with out fault of some kind. Period. Point blank. The end.

  • Wreckognize Game

    Maybe their skin got ashy. It was cold AF in Chicago?????

  • Candance

    Everybody needs a friend. I wouldn't turn on my friend for making a dumb ass decision to lie about something like that. Yes I would give them the side eye but I wouldn't totally abandoned them. Now I personally dont know Jussee and I never believed him, nor understood the entitlement he felt lying over and over and over again just to say he needs rehab and wants more money...I dont care which way this goes.

  • TheOwley

    He lied, she supports a liar, OK.

  • Mikayla

    What a stupid comparison. She didn’t “lie.” It’s not necessarily any of your damn business

  • Melodiy
  • Adam Kearse
  • bitcoinoff
  • Shawn Pearce
  • Akasui Sayo
  • SerqKan
  • Tata15
  • Jackie Bailey Bryan
  • jason