Jussie Smollett, 36, is being accused of staging the now infamous attack against himself by the Chicago Police Department, and 50 Cent, 43, is wondering if the actor’s boss, Empire co–creator Lee Daniels, could also be guilty of being in on the alleged scheme. After Jussie filed a police report claiming he was attacked by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical substance on Jan. 29, the Empire creator posted an emotional video to Instagram defending the star. “You didn’t deserve — nor does anybody deserve — to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you,” Lee had said in the video shared nearly a month ago.
50 Cent is now questioning the intentions of Lee, asking the difficult question over whether it was filmed with genuine remorse. The rapper reposted the video to his Instagram on Feb. 21 — the same day Jussie was arrested and released on a $100,000 bond — and wrote, “😆LOL Bad acting Lee, If we find out you knew about this sh*t. 🤨.” 50 Cent then poked fun at Lee and Jussie’s Fox show, Empire, as Jussie returned to set on Jan. 21 after his court appearance, according to Variety. The show is still “evaluating the situation” and is considering its “options,” according to a statement that the outlet obtained.
The “In Da Club” hit maker found it the perfect opportunity to promote his rivaling show, Power. “Power season 6 coming soon,” he wrote, then slammed another figure: “Emanuel Gonzalez #shootemonsight.” Unrelated to Jussie’s legal fiasco, Emanual Gonzalez is a NYPD commander who allegedly instructed his officers to shoot 50 Cent before a NYPD-sanctioned boxing match that the rapper was invited to, and the matter is now being investigated, an NYPD spokesperson told CBS News on Feb. 17.
It’s not the first time 50 Cent has poked fun at Jussie’s legal woes and Empire. “He getting ready to tell the DA @theoriginalbigdaddy [the Empire co-creator’s IG username] knew what I was doing the whole time. He told me it would help Empire’s rating. That POWER show on STARZ was too good. LOL🤨,” 50 Cent wrote besides a photo of Jussie’s mugshot.
While 50 Cent is finding humor in the situation, no laughs were cracked during the Chicago PD press conference on Thursday morning. “First, [Jussie] attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter [sent to the Empire studio and addressed to Jussie on Jan. 22] that relied on racial and political language,” the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, Eddie Johnson, claimed at the press conference. “When that didn’t work, he paid $3500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process. The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary [on FOX’s Empire]. He concocted a story about being attacked.” Jussie is up against felony charges of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report, and if he’s convicted, the actor is looking at one to three years in jail.