Musician Queen Latifah said in a new interview that she still supports indicted felon Jussie Smollett because she hasn’t seen “definitive proof” that he staged an attack against himself, as Chicago police now believe.
“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,” Queen Latifah said of Smollett in an interview with Yahoo News.
“And that’s just the guy I know,” she added. “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.”
Queen Latifah, real name Dana Elaine Owens, has been outspoken about racism in America before.
“I don’t care how much money or things I have, or Puff has or Missy has,” she said in 2016. “If I go outside and try to hail a cab and he passes me for the white woman standing right there, that racism is still alive and kicking. And we have to change that.”
“And I’m not blaming the white lady, she needed a cab too … I’m just saying we got to change this attitude.”
However, Chicago police said last month that Smollett took advantage of anger over racism to stage a fake hate attack against himself.
“This announcement today recognizes that Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said last month.
“I’m left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?”