Queen Latifah defends Jussie Smollett
The 'STAR' actress admitted she doesn't know what to make of the scandal, but she hopes everything works out eventually.
LONDON - Queen Latifah is standing by Jussie Smollett until she sees definitive proof that he staged an attack on himself.
The Empire actor has been charged with filing a false police report after claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January and denied staging the assault.
She said: "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. And 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."
But the STAR actress admitted she doesn't know what to make of the scandal, but she hopes everything works out eventually.
Speaking to Zainab Salbi on Yahoo News' Through Her Eyes, she added: "I don't even know what to make of it. All I know is that I hope everything works out in the end and everybody basically comes out unscathed."
Following Smollett's arrest, it was revealed his character, Jamal Lyon, would be written out of the final two episodes of season five of Empire to prevent further disruption to filming.
Producers including Lee Daniels and Danny Strong said in a statement last month: "The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply.
"While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of Jamal from the final two episodes of the season."
The 36-year-old actor has been praised by his legal team as a young man of impeccable character in a statement that hit out at the way the investigation has been handled.
The lawyers said in a statement: "Today we witnessed an organised law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system. The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election. Mr Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing."