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Queen Latifah Believes Jussie Smollett Until There's 'Definitive Proof' He Lied

Queen Latifah Believes Jussie Smollett Until There's 'Definitive Proof' He Lied

Queen Latifah and Jussie Smollett

Smollett staging an attack on himself doesn't sound like the guy she knows, Latifah says. 

Empire actor Jussie Smollett was arrested last month on felony charges for falsifying a police report -- he allegedly paid two brothers to stage an attack against him and make it look like a hate crime. Now, Queen Latifah has said that she's standing by Smollett until there's indisputable proof that he's guilty as charged.

Latifah made comments supporting Smollett while appearing on the Yahoo News show Through Her Eyes.

The star of Chicago and Hairspray was reluctant to speak about Smollett when asked but commented anyway.

"Until somebody can show me some proof otherwise, I'm going with him. The guy I've seen has always been someone who cares about people, who cares about others, and who's very kind and who's always been cool and sweet," Latifah said. "That's just the guy I know. So until I can see some definitive proof -- which I haven't seen yet. I gotta go with him until I see otherwise."

At that time of the alleged attack, Smollett, who is gay, said that the assailants doused him with a chemical, hung a noose around his neck, and hurled racist and homophobic epithets at him, making it appear as if he were the victim of a hate crime.

The host of Through Her Lens, Zainab Salbi, asked Latifah if she thought the alleged attack on Smollett was racially motivated.

"This whole thing started off from him allegedly being attacked by some guys who appeared to be white guys wearing a hat that said "Make America Great Again," yelled epithets at him, and said, This is MAGA country," Latifah said. "The whole thing started off looking [racially motivated]. So how could you not take that into account?"

"Everything that's happened since then... I don't even know what to make of it," Latifah said regarding the revelations that led to Smollett's arrest. "All I know is I hope everything works out in the end and everybody basically comes out unscathed."

Smollett was released on $100,000 bond the day he was arrested. Shortly after, Empire producers suspended him and released a statement saying that his character Jamal Lyon would be scrubbed from the final episodes of the fifth season.

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