Maxine Waters on Jussie Smollett: ‘I Would Be Disappointed’ if It’s a Hoax

NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 05: Jussie Smollett and Honoree Congresswoman Maxine Waters are seen backstage during Black Girls Rock! 2017 at NJPAC on August 5, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said Thursday that she couldn’t yet “make sense” of Empire actor Jussie Smollett being arrested for filing a false police report about being attacked by Trump supporters in Chicago.

“I don’t think we can, at this point, make sense of it,” Maxine Waters told Variety. “There are still some questions that we have, some answers that have to be given. He’s a friend. He was at my office. We marched in the Pride Parade together, he introduced me at ‘Black Girls Rock,’ and so, I believed him, when I heard about it.”

“I still don’t know all of the details. I’m waiting for the final results of all of this. If in fact it’s a hoax, of course, I would be disappointed, but I’m just hopeful, that whatever goes on, and if he finds that he’s in trouble, that his life will be changed, then he has to re-do it all over again,” she added.

Following initial reports of the attack, the California Democrat reacted by calling out “homophobic haters.”

“Jussie is my friend – a very talented & beautiful human being. It is so hurtful that homophobic haters would dare hurt someone so loving and giving. I’m dedicated to finding the culprits and bringing them to justice. Jussie did not deserve to be harmed by anyone!” Waters said in a social media post.

Smollett was arrested Thursday over “felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report” after he falsely claimed to be the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in Chicago last month.


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