The producer had opened up about his cousin's own victimization.
Speculations have been swirling around Jussie Smollett's indictment. The actor is currently facing prison time for allegedly filing a false report detailing an assault. At the time, his assailants were described as racist and homophobic. While legal proceedings are underway to determine the validity of Smollett's original claims, a new theory arose from his skeptics.
According to TMZ, Empire cast members believe Lee Daniels might have played an indirect part in the whole ordeal. They claim the story he shared about his cousin's assault could have inspired Jussie's supposed orchestration.
Jussie Smollett and Lee Daniels appear to have a close relationship. The actor even spoke during Daniels' Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony. The Chicago PD has claimed the actor planned his attack because of his dissatisfaction with the income gained from his work on Empire. This theory was received with mixed reactions given Smollet's friendship with the show's creator.
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Lee Daniels had uploaded a video on January 10, revealing the distressing incident involving his family member. "This past week my cousin was beat up for being gay and I am sick of hearing these stories. It’s the beginning of a new year and we need to do better," he wrote in the caption.
"We need to continue to remember to love and to turn against the hate that we’re seeing out there. But we all need to fight that fight together." He went on to offer an ear and a safe space "For all the people who are hurting, who are struggling, and who are trying to find some meaning in this life."