TMZ says Smollett owes Empire team a lot, and that helped sway his trial

Gossip site TMZ, which has long had a reputation as a gossip sheet with a reputation to match, has some interesting insight into the thinking of the jurors who are deciding whether to find Jussie Smollett guilty of a criminal charge: Jussie Smollett owes a lot to “the Empire team.” At the very least, Smollett himself, the show’s star, had nothing to do with staging the attack.

The cast of “Empire” had help with framing me & that’s why I’m defending them — Jussie Smollett (@JussieSmollett) April 24, 2018

But for some of the jurors, Smollett & Co.’s involvement in getting him the lead role on “Empire” played a part in his side’s conviction. Judge Smoakton said that she was “quite familiar” with TMZ stories that accused the Fox Television network of helping to pay the brothers to attack Smollett. One of the brothers, Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, testified that they believed Smollett was looking for a job and “liked to partake in things that would bring about change, so we were trying to keep him from being unemployed.” Then there’s Jay Pharoah, who made the now famous “kicking the door in” comment about Smollett’s condition in reference to the attack. While testifying, he admitted that he was referring to the producer of the series’ creator Lee Daniels, who made similar remarks before Smollett’s “kicking the door in” catchphrase became a viral Internet meme. (In fact, he claimed that he made the comment during a phone call with Daniels, not during a call with Jussie Smollett.) But Smollett didn’t win all of the sympathy the jurors were looking for, because even without the involvement of the Empire team, TMZ claims that “the jury will ultimately find Smollett guilty and convict him of either disorderly conduct or felony false reporting.”

For example, the publication notes that “when Smollett told authorities he called the police, he made sure to say he was afraid of the brothers — not that he was actually attacked by them.” TMZ also reports that Smollett “admitted that he sent a letter — or claimed he did,” from his personal account to his doctor. Smollett went from claiming that the letter was sent to him by an anarchist to telling investigators that it was sent by two friends. TMZ also says that Smollett “fessed up to not telling investigators that he called 911 himself and that he didn’t even get an ambulance until the following day.” Smollett knew something was fishy after his “6-minute conversation with the camera operator seemed purposely brief and slight, as if he wanted to get the camera to stop recording” and TMZ believes this was “an attempt to put it off the hook.” The publication also argues that a tweet by Smollett’s management mentioning a $100,000 payday and a phone call with a “Mr. Rogers” voice “towards the end of the phone call” to “put him at ease” fit Smollett’s conscience-stricken version of the events and alleges that he apologized to someone in the room “orgy scene” for putting him in danger.

It’s still unclear whether Jussie Smollett’s story is much different now that the Inquisitr has tracked down “the Empire team.” What is certain is that the jury will see through the “ruse” and convict him, and they will deliver the verdict “much sooner than anticipated.”

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