Jussie Smollett Allegedly Staged His Attack Because He Was ‘Dissatisfied with His Salary’

Chicago Police Department said Wednesday that they have arrested Empire star Jussie Smollett on a Class 4 felony charge in falsifying a police report. He turned himself in early Thursday morning.



"Jussie Smollett is under arrest and in custody of detectives," Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted early on Thursday. "At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court."



Tom Ahern, who is the deputy director for the Chicago Police Department, added “Chicago Police Detectives take #Empire actor #JussieSmollett into custody to face Class 4 Felony charge (punishable for up to 3yrs in prison) for Disorderly Conduct in Falsifying Police report. Bond Hearing scheduled for 1:30p in Cook County Criminal Court.#ChicagoPolice.”

Chicago Police Chief Eddie T. Johnson dropped a major bombshell about the case, saying the attack was a “hoax” and a “shameful… publicity stunt.” He claimed the stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.”

Johnson said that the 36-year-old actor first tried to gain attention to this story by sending a false racist letter to his work. “When that didn't work, he paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process," he said. Police say they now have the check, made out to brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who have become witnesses after confessing to the entirety of the plot while in custody.

Johnson was quite emotional about the entire case during the press conference on Thursday morning. “I'm left hanging my head and asking, why? Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his profile?"

He also discussed what impact Smollett’s stunt would have on hate crimes in the future. "We will investigate with the same amount of vigor, (but) my concern is now hate crimes will be met with a level of skepticism that previously didn't happen," he said. "I only hope the truth about what happened receives the same amount of attention the hoax did.



The latest developments have caused a huge reaction online. Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel didn’t mince her words over the situation, tweeting “If this is true about Jessie (SP), he is a sick F. Look at all the people who were pouring out sympathy videos calling him their brother.”

Jussie Smolett is Now Considered a Suspect by The Chicago Police Department

Empire actor Jussie Smollett is now considered a suspect by the Chicago Police Department.

Their Chief Communications Officer, Anthony Guglielmi, tweeted about it on Wednesday, February 20.

“Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury.”

If he is convicted of the crime, he could face up to 3 years in prison.

Gugilelmi confirmed earlier that prosecutors are speaking with Smollett’s attorneys as part of their investigation into an alleged attack on him.

"We are hopeful that we'll have a chance to ask the questions that we have," Guglielmi said. "It doesn't matter what the investigation shows; if you have information that's helpful to law enforcement, it behooves you to contact authorities and share that information. We have been very diplomatic and have been working with him and his attorneys. We got information, and that what we want [sic] to run by him. If the opportunity is not taken [to come in], we're going to go with other methods to create a culture of accountability."

This all stemmed from an alleged attack on Smollett in the early morning hours of January 29 that has consistently brought new developments in the days since.

Initially, it was reported that Smollett was attacked outside a Subway in Chicago by two white men wearing ski masks. The attack was seen as racist and homophobic, as the men reportedly called him a “f***ot” and “n****r” while allegedly dousing him with bleach and wrapping a noose around his neck. Smollett then transported himself to Northwestern Hospital.

There have been several stories since then about the alleged incident that have included the entire thing being staged to Smollett allegedly doing this to prevent his character from being written off Empire.

Story developing…

Porn Star Max Konnor Alleges Racist Treatment At NYC Leather Shop

Adult performer and GayVN Award nominee Max Konnor has accused New York City leather store, The Leather Man, of discriminatory behavior while he was in the store.

Konnor took to his Twitter account on Saturday, December 8, writing: "Guys, I just experienced racism full force. The owner of @LeatherManNYC  just kicked me out after coming in trying to get an outfit made for the @GayVN awards.  Please let them know that this behavior will not stand.  Do not support this company.  Send them a message.”


Konnor is nominated for three awards at the 2019 GayVN’s including ‘Performer of the Year.’

After being told the design he’d hoped to have made for the awards ceremony wouldn’t be possible, Konnor and his designer, Maxfield Haynes, continued to browse the store and pulled out their phones to call for a car.

At that point, Konnor says the owner approached him saying, “We really don’t have time to watch people that aren’t going to buy anything.”

Konnor says he told the shop keeper he didn’t need to be “watched.” The owner then allegedly raised his voice telling the men to “Get out of my store.”

The duo exited the store and the front door was apparently locked after their departure. Haynes says there were still 10 other people in the store.

Store employee Scott Jordan told OUT that the issue was the owner, Chuck Mueller, doesn’t like phones used in the store.

“When they came upstairs he asked them not to use their phones because people come in and take photos and stuff and never buy anything,” said Jordan. “They said something to him and that just set him off.”

“It wasn’t a matter of race,” Jordan added. “If they were white, he would have done the same thing; it’s his age.” 

Haynes and Konnor say no one asked them to put their phones away during their visit to the store.

Since Konnor went public with his allegations The Leather Man has issued a statement denying any racism via Instagram.

The statement denounces “rumors and misinformation” about the alleged incident.

“The Leather Man has a long history of employing women, people of color, and transgendered individuals in both sales and management positions,” according to the statement. “Throughout the worst of the AIDS epidemic, many HIV positive individuals found both employment and a safe home at The Leather Man when confronted by fear and discrimination elsewhere.”

“We are deeply saddened that the specific interaction in question was, in any fashion, construed to have any racial overtones,” the post continues.

Here’s the full statement:



A number of rumors and misinformation about a supposedly racist incident taking place in our shop have been making the rounds on social media. They are, of course, untrue. The Leather Man was founded in 1965, a period in American history where the Civil Rights Movement was just gaining traction and the Gay Rights Movement was barely in its infancy. In this pre-Stonewall era, being gay, let alone being a Leather Man could result in arrest, persecution, and discrimination. Civil liberties and the right to openly be who you are have been principles The Leather Man has upheld throughout the decades. The Leather Man has a long history of employing women, people of color, and transgendered individuals in both sales and management positions. Throughout the worst of the AIDS epidemic, many HIV positive individuals found both employment and a safe home at The Leather Man when confronted by fear and discrimination elsewhere. As an institution, we take our role in the wider community very seriously. We are deeply saddened that the specific interaction in question was, in any fashion, construed to have any racial overtones. This was a matter of implementing a shop policy with regard to custom work and alterations, and the disagreement was in no way based on the individuals being men of color. We do utilize a buzzer system during busy times to allow our sales staff to adequately serve our customers individual needs, and it was not the case that any specific customers were ever locked out of the premises. We regret that any customer would leave the store with such feelings but we hope that our five decades of commitment to progressive social values represents The Leather Man’s commitment to being a welcoming place for all. #leathercommunity #gayfetish #bdsm #kinkcommunity #brotherhood #love #saynotracism #everyonewelcome

A post shared by 111 Christopher St, NYC (@theleathermannyc) on

However, one fan chimed in on Konnor’s Twitter account saying they saw the alleged behavior:

And another adult performer added this:

(h/t OUT)

Annual Hate Crimes Report Shows 3rd Consecutive Increase In Bias Crimes

Just weeks after a lone gunman entered a Pittsburgh synagogue killing 11 people and wounding 6 more, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has released its annual report on hate crimes in America.

And the news isn’t good.

A hate crime is defined by the FBI as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

The FBI says hate crime incidents surged in 2017 by 17 percent. That is the largest increase since 2001 when the 9/11 attacks gave way to a big jump in violence aimed at Arab Americans and Muslim Americans.

There were 7,175 hate crimes reported in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016.

The year was the third consecutive annual increase.

Now, let me think, what happened about three years ago that would fuel ethnic/religious rage?

It was in 2015 that Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign with a speech trashing Mexican immigrants. He has publicly sided with white nationalists and neo-nazis who rallied in Virginia; railed about African American football players for kneeling during the national anthem; and demonized the Central American migrant caravan of asylum seekers as an “invasion.”

While 1,303 of the reported incidents in 2017 were driven by bias regarding sexual orientation, the vast majority - 4,832 incidents - involved animus due to race or ethnicity.

Almost half of those reports involved African Americans, and anti-Latino bias was found in 11% of hate crimes in 2017.

Religious bias was responsible for the second largest segment of hate crimes with 1,679 reports of religion-motivated incidents.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes saw a small decline (273 in 2017 versus 314 in 2016), but historically speaking that’s still very high.

The annual report shows there were 131 hate crimes related to gender identity, barely edging out incidents regarding bias based on disability.

The category with the fewest occurrences were hate crimes motivated by gender (53).

(h/t Voice of America)

The MAGABomber Told His Former Manager That She Would Burn in Hell Because She is a Lesbian

Debra Gureghian, the manager of New River Pizza and Fresh Kitchen where the MAGA Bomber worked as a delivery driver recounts her encounters with Cesar Sayoc, who, in addition to being a domestic terrorist, was also a racist homophobe, according to a CNN interview that was posted on Raw Story

In the interview, Gureghian that she was surprised that he was the one sending the bombs, but she did note that she knew that he had issues and "beat to the beat to his own drum," saying that he was "anti-gay, anti-black, anti-Jewish" and that everyone who wasn't a white supremacist "didn't belong in the world." She also said that he was a good employee, as he was always on time and was always cordial to people, the customers liked him, and he got along with the other employees, but his political views scared him. 

Although he was a nice person to everyone, he did make it a point to tell Debra, an out-and-proud lesbian, that "God made a mistake" with her and that she will "burn in hell" along "with all the blacks, and Jews, and Hispanics, and everybody else." Gureghian also commented that he drove this van

to work every day, which made her decide to schedule him for night time deliveries, as the van was "freaky scary."

One of the more frightening aspects about all of this is that he appeared to be a normal American citizen (well, aside from the van) and that he dressed normally and was generally a nice person, but created over a dozen bombs to commit an attempted nationwide mass murder of prominent Democrats and people who spoke out against Donald Trump. Hopefully, there won't be a copycat criminal anytime soon. 



h/t: Raw Story

Anti-Gay Banner Found Hanging in Northern Ireland

I'm saddened but not surprised. This hateful banner was found hanging over an overpass on an expressway in Northern Ireland, according to Attitude. How annoying that people are still like this.

Both the Irish and LGBTQ people have historically been subjected to unfair persecution. Seriously, go read "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift and... pretty much anything I've written on here. It's mostly negative. The banner was discovered on October 19th by Amanda Ferguson. She posted a picture of the banner on Twitter with the caption "Oh dear. Hate mongers at their work again. This anti-Irish, homophobic banner has appeared on the M1 between junction 10 (Oxford Island) and junction 9 (International Airport). I can’t see this taking off tbh. Just not as catchy as: No woman, no cry!"

The banner has since been taken down and Declan Kearney, a Sinn Féin (a left-wing political party in Ireland) called the banner "reprehensible" and said that this hate message is not indicative of the views of the majority of Irish people, as Ireland has recently thrown one of "the most vibrant, most colourful Pride parades" which sent an LGBTQ-affirming message to the people of Ireland.

As a gay man and an Irish (well, partially at least) person, this banner really bothered me. What I don't understand is how being Irish and/or gay has any impact on anyone. It doesn't make sense to me.

h/t: Attitude

Mexican Gay Men's Chorus Detained by Homeland Security in Texas

We've all most likely heard men's choruses, with their beautiful basses and baritones and terrific tenors singing magnificent music. Gay men's choruses are a more recent invention, with them being started after the assassination of Harvey Milk's in the late 70s and the beginning of the AIDS crisis in the 80s. The first gay men's chorus was the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, whose 40th anniversary concert will be held on October 13th. They will be joined by Mexico's Coro Gay Ciudad de México to bridge the gap between the United States and Mexico during this trying time of international tension. However, the event was almost ruined due to the CGCDM being stopped by Homeland Security in Texas, reports Los Angeles Blade.

On the morning of Sunday, October 7th, the CGCDM arrived at William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas. A university professor, Jorge Gutierrez, was stopped by security to verify that he was not the Jorge Gutierrez that was wanted for stealing a truck. As he waited, members of the Mexican chorus chatted with him about the upcoming concert in Los Angeles which aroused suspicion from security that the members were visiting the US as paid performers instead of tourists, contrary to what their visas indicated. The CGCDM is not getting paid for the event so they would not need a visa to reflect that. 

A Homeland Security officer detained the group after finding sheet music in their luggage, as they believed that the chorus was not being honest about the reason for their visit to the US, despite having their visit sponsored bybthe Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. The security officer was thinking of deporting the CGCDM back to Mexico. Luckily, another Homeland Security officer informed airport security that the group will not be paid and explained the details of the concert. After a short conversation, airport security decided to let the chorus proceed to LA.

While I am glad that this debacle has been settled, I'm saddened that it occurred in the first place. Airport security had the necessary information to know that the chorus was not visiting the US for nefarious purposes but instead they suspected them of lying about the reason for their visit and almost deported them. Why? Possibly because they are Mexican. It's no secret that international relations between the United States and Mexico have been very tense after Donald Trump's comments about the people of Mexico and also his comments directed toward Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. By suspecting the chorus of lying on their visas solely based on the fact that they're Mexican will only further divide the two countries, which is the exact opposite of what the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles' 40th anniversary concert is trying to achieve.

h/t: Los Angeles Blade 

These Kids Should Be More Focused on School Than Perpetuating Hate Speech

Students from the Senior class at Escondido High School in California are under fire for posing for photos that spelled out homophobic and racist messages. Students wore shirts with monograms on them to pose for pictures that displayed pre-approved messages during their annual senior barbecue. However, after the fact, some of the students thought it would be hilarious to rearrange themselves and snap some pics that showed the world just how big of assholes they are.

Along with the popular homophobic moniker ‘FAGS’, another group of students formed the ‘N’ word.

Whitney, do you still believe the children are our future? Sounds like learned behavior to me!

The school’s principal, Dr. Adriana Lepe-Ramirez shared in a statement with 10News:

We are a campus that prides itself on inclusion and embraces diversity. We will not tolerate actions that send messages of racism and promote divisiveness. We will work with students, as well as staff, to ensure a respectful and safe environment is maintained throughout our campus. We all need to understand the power of our words and actions, and we must take responsibility for the decisions we make each and every day. At Escondido High School we will continue to work every day to build a culture of family and unity across our community.

The principal also made an important announcement to the entire school which included:

I understand that the messages that were posted on social media incited anger and frustration, but I want to encourage you all to remember that the only thing that combats hate is love, the only thing that combats divisiveness is unity.

The incident is currently under investigation.

h/t: 10News

Joel Kim Booster And Other LGBTQ Celebs Share Their Thoughts On Being Kindr On Grindr

Grindr’s “Kindr” campaign has officially begun and they’ve enlisted the help of queer people of color to help be the faces of this new movement.

During this summer, Grindr announced an upcoming campaign and shift to it’s program. This “kindr” Grindr would prohibit users from using terms like “No Asians” on their profiles.

Many have applauded and condemned this announcement, and some say it's entirely moot since the problem is more societally based.

Now, it seems the campaign side of the program shift has begun.

Recently, Grindr released the below statement about the “kindr” campaign:

“At Grindr, we’re into diversity, inclusion, and users who treat each other with respect. We’re not into racism, bullying, or other forms of toxic behavior. These are our preferences, and we’ve updated our Community Guidelines to better reflect them. Same app. New rules. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Their type. Their tastes. But nobody is entitled to tear someone else down because of their race, size, gender, HIV status, age, or – quite simply – being who they are. Join us in building a kinder Grindr. Express yourself, but not at the expense of someone else. Report discrimination when you see it. Use your voice and share your story to call out prejudice and spark change. Together, we can amplify the conversation and take steps towards a kinder, more respectful community.”

In addition, Grindr released the below video which included people like Joel Kim Booster, Rakeem Cunningham, Jai Rodriguez, The Vixen, Emilio Amador, and Jasmine.

Each person in this group shared personal thoughts on the age-old conversation of racism/preference on the app and in gay dating as a whole.

“If you don’t put ‘no Asians’ in your profile, it doesn’t mean you have to f**k Asians now,” said rising comedian Joel Kim Booster. “It just means I don’t have to see it….For you to say ‘I know what every Asian guy looks like and I know for a fact that I would not be attracted to any of them?’ That comes from a racist place. Because you don’t know what we all look like. That’s ugly.”

You can hear all the other opinions and perspectives from Grindr and its associates down below.



Roseanne Won't Criticize Spinoff Sitcom: "I Got To Stay In The Middle Or I'll Go Dark"

During a conversation with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for the conservative “Promised Land” podcast, Roseanne Barr revealed she’s planning to leave the United States for Israel before the premiere of the ABC spinoff sitcom, The Connors.

Shmuley didn’t shy away from the upcoming premiere set for October 16 on ABC.

The New York Daily News reports the Rabbi asked point-blank if she planned to watch the “revised version” of her now departed sitcom.

“I have an opportunity to go to Israel for a few months and study with my favorite teachers over there,” Barr told Shmuley, a longtime friend. “And that’s where I'm going to go and probably move somewhere there and study with my favorite teachers.”

“You know, I have saved a few pennies and I'm so lucky that I can go,” she added. “It's my great, great joy and privilege to be a Jewish woman.”

The comedy star also shared that staying in the U.S. for the premiere and seeing the media’s response could “tempt” her to make a controversial comment about the spinoff, especially if she “has too many drinks.”



Barr did offer this comment regarding The Connors: “I’m not going to curse it or bless it. I’m staying neutral. That’s what I do. I’m staying away from it. (I’m not) wishing bad on anyone, and I don’t wish good for my enemies, you know. I don’t. I can’t. I just stay neutral.”

Barr also admitted to “some mental health issues of depression and stuff,” during the chat. Alluding to personal demons, she explained, “I got to stay in the middle or I’ll go dark, and I don’t want to go dark again.”

The reboot of Barr’s hit sitcom, Roseanne, was summarily cancelled after one season in the aftermath of racist tweets by the 65-year-old comedienne about former White House advisor Valerie Jarrett. In the tweets, which Roseanne later blamed on “Ambien-tweeting,” she compared Jarrett to an ape.

She denied any racist overtones claiming, “I thought the b—h was white.”

Barr also made disparaging comments about former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton and Democratic supporter, George Soros.

ABC decided to revamp the reboot one more time, this time without Barr. In order for the project to move forward, however, Barr was required to sign away any rights to future royalties of the new show.

In an interview last week, actor John Goodman shared that Barr's character will be dead in the new spinoff.

(h/t The New York Daily News)