CNN host Don Lemon ran defense for Jussie Smollett on his show last night, claiming that it’s not the actor’s “fault” that he lost in the court of public opinion.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi announced that Smollett was “under arrest and in custody of detectives” this morning. His bail hearing is set for 1:30pm local time.
Smollett launched a media firestorm at the end of last month when he claimed he was assaulted by two individuals who shouted “this is MAGA country” and had a noose placed around his neck.
However, evidence soon emerged clearly suggesting Smollett had paid two Nigerian brothers who worked on the show Empire with him to stage the attack.
Despite some on the left deleting old tweets that signaled vehement support for Smollett and with others keen to avoid talking about the issue altogether, Don Lemon appeared to double down by absolving Smollett of blame.
CNN’s Don Lemon says that it’s “not” Jussie Smollett’s “fault” that he lost “in the court of public opinion” pic.twitter.com/gqlLLeGhkW
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 21, 2019
During a segment on his show last night, the CNN host said Smollett had “lost the fight in the court of public opinion”.
“He lost that because of how – not his fault – maybe people were – I don’t know what they were saying to him, maybe because of his representatives, who knows – but it was handled poorly,” said Lemon.
CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson pushed back, commenting, “I don’t know if it’s not his fault, Don.”
“You think it’s his fault, you think he was doing what he wanted?” asked Lemon.
If the allegations are proven true, quite how anyone but Smollett himself is to blame for staging a hate crime which according to some could have kicked off racial violence in America is somewhat baffling.
Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Smollett’s lawyers say they will “mount an aggressive defense,” with the actor potentially facing jail time.
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