Jussie Smollett is not letting his ongoing legal problems get in the way of his craft. In new photos obtained by TMZ on Friday (June 23), the former child actor was spotted on the set of his new project, a film called The Lost Holiday, in Orange County, California.
Smollett serves as the flick’s director and stars Vivica A. Fox, his former “Empire” co-star. In one of the images online, he is shown with a camera in his hand while speaking with Fox. In another, he is all smiles while standing alongside members of the production crew. He made his directorial debut last year with the film B-Boy Blues.
As most people know, The Mighty Ducks actor has been facing a legal battle since 2019, when he claimed to have been attacked by two MAGA supporters in Chicago. He claimed that a noose was placed around his neck, bleach was poured on him, and he was struck multiple times as the men yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him during the alleged hate crime. An investigation into his claims uncovered that he orchestrated the incident and enlisted the help of two acquaintances, brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.
In early December 2021, a jury found Smollett guilty of five counts of felony disorderly conduct for falsifying police reports. In March 2022, he was sentenced to 30 months of felony probation, to spend 150 days in jail, and to pay more than $120,000 in restitution to the Chicago Police Department and a $25,000 fine. Last year, he served six of his 150-day sentence before being released. His legal team has since filed an appeal to overturn the conviction in an attempt to keep him out of jail. He was granted five extensions before the March 2023 filing.
Fox has been a supporter of the actor since he made headlines over the hate crime hoax. After becoming embroiled in the controversy, Smollett was written out of the final season of “Empire.” “That was tough. He’s family; he’s always gonna be family,” Fox said when she appeared on an episode of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” in 2019. “I love him to death,” she added. The show’s co-lead Taraji P. Henson has also expressed public support for her TV son.
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