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‘Lovecraft Country’ Star Jurnee Smollett Breaks Silence on Jussie’s Case: ‘I Believe My Brother’

Actress speaks out for first time since her brother was accused of faking a hate crime and lying to police last year

Jurnee Smollett broke her silence about the accusations against her brother, former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, for the first time in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Thursday, stating her support loud and clear: “I believe my brother.”

“It’s been f—ing painful,” Smollett said of the legal proceedings that have surrounded her brother since he was accused of faking a hate crime and filing a false police report last year. “One of the most painful things my family’s ever experienced — to love someone as much as we love my brother, and to watch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating. I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I’ve tried to not let it make me pessimistic. But everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother.”

The actress will soon star in HBO’s forthcoming horror-drama series “Lovecraft Country,” from Misha Green, J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele, as Letitia Lewis opposite Jonathan Majors as Atticus Black. The series is set to premiere later this month.

Though the initial case against Jussie was dropped in March 2019, new criminal charges were brought against him this February, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He has repeatedly denied the accusations from the beginning.

Due to the ongoing nature of Jussie’s case, Jurnee declined to go into detail about her defense of him, saying that it was “maddening” that she “can’t talk” about the pain her brother’s very public case has brought her family. Still, “We are blessed to have a community of people who know him,” she said, “and know that he wouldn’t do this.”

“Lovecraft Country” premieres August 16 on HBO.