Jussie Smollett, the former “Empire” star whose fall from grace captured national attention, has embarked on a path to recovery, entering a rehab facility in the wake of his high-profile legal debacle. The actor, whose career imploded following a fabricated hate crime, is seeking treatment nearly five years after his conviction for orchestrating a false racist and homophobic assault on himself and subsequently deceiving Chicago law enforcement.
A source close to Smollett divulged to TMZ, “The past several years have been incredibly challenging for Jussie. He’s committed to turning things around and has been diligently working towards recovery for a while now. We commend him for recognizing his issues and taking decisive action.”
Currently engaged in an outpatient program, Smollett’s rehab stint comes amid his ongoing legal battles in Chicago, as he continues to challenge the verdict in his case.
The saga began in January 2019 when Smollett reported a harrowing attack. He detailed being ambushed by two assailants donning red hats, who allegedly fastened a rope around his neck, doused him with bleach, hurled racial and homophobic epithets, and proclaimed, “This is MAGA country!” referencing ex-President Trump’s campaign catchphrase.
However, the tides turned dramatically for Smollett when investigations revealed inconsistencies, eventually unmasking the entire episode as a hoax. In a verdict that shook the nation, Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 150 days behind bars, 30 months of probation, and a mandate to cover $120,106 in restitution, besides a $25,000 penalty, condemning his deceit to the police.
During the sentencing, Judge Linn chastised Smollett, branding him a “charlatan” who feigned hate crime victimhood. “Your actions have coined your name as synonymous with lying,” Linn declared, highlighting the irrevocable damage Smollett inflicted upon his own reputation and career.
As officers escorted him to jail, a defiant Smollett was heard proclaiming his innocence and denying any suicidal ideations. Shortly thereafter, reports surfaced, including from his brother, indicating that the beleaguered actor had been confined to a psychiatric unit within Cook County jail.
Smollett’s journey from Hollywood darling to a disgraced figure seeking rehabilitation is a stark reminder of the personal and public consequences of deception. Now, as he embarks on a road to recovery, the question remains: can Smollett find redemption in both his personal life and professional career?