If Jussie Smollett’s plan was just to gain publicity from his supposed Jan. 29 attack in Chicago, it worked—at first.
According to TMZ, Smollett’s career was going pretty well before the alleged assault; he was getting offers every other week, and sometimes weekly. Right after the incident was initially reported, his celebrity rose even further. TMZ reports that he was getting nonstop proposals for movies, TV, commercials, interviews, and appearances.
But clearly the story backfired when he was charged with a felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing false police report. From there, the calls stopped and Smollett was an outcast. Matters became worse this week when he was indicted on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
Smollett’s character on Empire was also removed from the final two episodes of Season 5, particularly because his co-stars have differing views on the attack.
Smollett's grand jury indictment arrived as two separate sets of charges: The first set pertains to what Smollett told authorities about the purported attack, including what the two men did and said to him; the second pertains to the second interview Smollett gave to the police on the day of the attack.
On Thursday, the Chicago Police Department also launched an internal investigation into the leaked information from his case. While that might help his case, it probably won’t help his career.