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Don Lemon throws his old pal Jussie Smollett to the wolves by branding him a LIAR


CNN anchor Don Lemon on Thursday night said Jussie Smollett was a liar, turning on his former friend as Lemon’s guest said the 39-year-old should brace himself for prison.

Smollett, the star of Empire, was found guilty earlier on Thursday by a jury in Chicago of staging a ‘racist and homophobic hate crime’ in January 2019, in a bid to make the producers of the show have more sympathy for him.

The jury took nine hours to convict Smollett on five of the six counts, and Lemon had little sympathy for his former friend, who he admitted in 2019 he texted ‘every day’ until it emerged the incident was a hoax.

Smollett on the stand on Monday shocked many by testifying that Lemon, 55, contacted Smollett to tell him Chicago police did not believe his story.

‘He had to make up too many lies as to why he didn’t want to do certain things,’ said Lemon on Thursday night.

‘To cover. Like another lie – and I guess he got caught up in that because he took the stand himself.

‘He got angry with the prosecutor as the prosecutor poked holes in his story – calling the only other witnesses liars.’

Don Lemon, who was previously friends with Jussie Smollett, on Thursday turned against the actor and accused him of being a liar

Lemon's guest, legal analyst Joey Jackson, said he felt that the jury got the verdict right

Lemon’s guest, legal analyst Joey Jackson, said he felt that the jury got the verdict right

Lemon – who has never addressed the issue of him texting Smollett – asked his guest, legal analyst Joey Jackson, what he made of the verdict.

‘I think it’s the proper result,’ said Jackson.

Lemon, 55, is seen with Smollett, 39, at a June 2018 gala in New York City

Lemon, 55, is seen with Smollett, 39, at a June 2018 gala in New York City

‘When you look at the case, the verdict, everything else – many people have said this is a case about credibility; and he said, she said. I disagree.

‘This is a case – every case relies upon credibility, but it’s also about a narrative that makes sense.

‘We lawyers before we go before juries and pick them, we say always use your common sense and good judgment.

‘And when you weave a web and tell a tale, it becomes problematic.

‘I think that’s what happened here.

‘His narrative – Mr Smollett’s – didn’t carry the day and the jury discerned something was amiss and they found him accountable. So that was the right result.’

Jackson said there were far too many inconsistencies in Smollett’s story, pointing out that he told differing versions of events at different times, and noting that there were many unexplainable pieces of the puzzle.

Jackson said that Smollett’s time on the stand, testifying in his own defense, was ‘devastating’ to the case.

Lemon added: ‘Here’s what folks are concerned about – that what he did might undermine future victims, legitimate victims of hate crimes.’

Smollett is seen on Thursday leaving court after being convicted on five of six counts

Smollett is seen on Thursday leaving court after being convicted on five of six counts

Jackson added: ‘Look, I think there’s a few things a judge is going to look at.

‘When you look at sentencing, you always look at punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation.

‘Obviously he’s a young man with what was a bright future. His prospects of rehabilitation are absolutely there.

‘But when you look to punishment, you have to punish conduct like this.

‘Why? Two reasons. You mentioned one of them.

Smollett is pictured in his mugshot after he was arrested on suspicion of faking the attack, which he said was racist and homophobic

Smollett is pictured in his mugshot after he was arrested on suspicion of faking the attack, which he said was racist and homophobic 

‘There are people legitimately who were the victims of hate crimes, and how do you diminish them by coming up with something that’s a farce? That’s troubling and you have to punish that.

‘Secondly, there are resources expanded from a police perspective in a city that needs them, right? Why do we take away those resources to focus on something that didn’t happen when there’s so many things that did happen that we really should be focusing on?

‘So that’s the second thing.

‘The third thing is if you come into a courtroom and you take the stand, which is your right, but you fabricate and you’re caught in those lies I think a judge really is taken aback by that. I think that’s what he’s looking at.’

Asked by Lemon if he expected Smollett to get prison time, Jackson said he did.

‘A judge can give him probation,’ said Jackson.

‘But I think when a judge looks at all those things, punishment, deterrence.

‘You don’t want people acting this way. Hate crimes, you made it up. People really have hate crimes.

‘You left the issue of expending of resources. That’s a problem.

‘You get on the stand and lie about it.

‘I think the judge has to fashion a remedy appropriate not only to him but to send a message to all others that you probably should not be doing this.’

Jussie Smollett – guilty on five of six charges of disorderly conduct

Count 1 – GUILTY

This count accuses him of telling responding Chicago Police Officer Muhammed Baig at around 2:45am, some 45 minutes after the purported attack, that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said two attackers put a rope around his neck.

Count 2 – GUILTY 

This refers to Smollett telling the same officer he was a victim of a battery, describing attackers beating and pouring bleach on him.

Counts 3 and 4 – GUILTY

These are when Smollett made the same claims but to a different officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning, at just before 6am.

Count 5 – GUILTY

This accuses Smollett of again telling Murray at around 7:15 p.m. that he was the victim of a battery. 

Count 6 – NOT GUILTY 

This refers to Smollett reporting on February 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery.



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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