Jurnee Smollett Left Devastated By Jussie's Drama
(AllHipHop News) Jussie Smollett's younger sister Jurnee has been left "devastated" by accusations her brother lied to police in faking a hate crime.
In January last year, the "Empire" star told Chicago police officers he was attacked in a racist and homophobic hate crime - but matters became murky after investigation officials accused him of having staged the incident - resulting in legal issues that are still ongoing.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, fellow actor Jurnee Smollett-Bell spoke about her sibling's troubles, explaining that she stands by him all the way, despite it being traumatizing for her and their family.
"It's been f##king painful, one of the most painful things my family's ever experienced," the "Birds of Prey" star said. "To love someone as much as we love my brother, and to watch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating. I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I've tried to not let it make me pessimistic.
"Everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother," she added, "and I believe my brother."
Smollett was initially charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, charges that were later dropped following an agreement with prosecutors, but in February this year, a grand jury revived the case and filed six new charges - which the star has pleaded not guilty to.
However, the actress says her brother is, "staying creative, as creatives do ― singing, writing, working on music, and adds: "We are blessed to have a community of people who know him, and know that he wouldn't do this."
As for Jurnee, following a starring role in the movie "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey" she will next be seen in Jordan Peele's new sci-fi horror series "Lovecraft Country," which debuts on HBO later this month.