(AllHipHop News) Filmmaker Tyler Perry and actress Octavia Spencer are “lost for words” at the turn of events in the Jussie Smollett hate crime case.
The "Empire" actor/singer drew the sympathies of his celebrity friends and peers last month after claiming he had been attacked by two masked white men, who hurled racist and homophobic abuse at him as they beat him up, poured a bleach-like substance over him, and tied a rope noose around his neck outside his Chicago, Illinois apartment on January 29.
Police initially investigated the incident as a hate crime, but have since accused Smollett of paying Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo to help him stage the assault, after initially questioning the pair as their potential suspects.
Smollett, who previously denied the allegations, was taken into custody on Thursday morning and charged with felonies for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.
His attorneys have vowed to fight the claims, but the scandal has left his fellow stars hurt and confused.
Tyler Perry took to social media after the news of his arrest surfaced, and revealed he had been in touch with Smollett, who maintains his innocence.
“I have personally spoken to Jussie, and he is adamant that he’s telling the truth,” Perry wrote on Facebook. “Also, everyone that I know who knows him says that he is not the kind of person who would make up such a horrible and awful thing. Yet the evidence seems to state otherwise.
“I’m lost for words. To stoke fears and raise racial tensions is wrong in every situation on ALL SIDES! Yet my prayers are still with him and his family and our Nation. CAN WE PLEASE STOP THE HATE!”
Even U.S. President Donald Trump, who had previously condemned the assault assailants, weighed in on the controversy, after early reports suggested the attackers had yelled, “This is MAGA country,” as they ran off, referencing the Republican’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” which has been adopted by white supremacists to promote their beliefs.
“@JussieSmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?” he posted.
Smollett faces up to three years behind bars if convicted of the felony charges.