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Fall of an Empire: The Jussie Smollett Controversy Timeline

The Jussie Smollett controversy was beyond complicated. For months, it captured the attention of the nation (and the world) and found the Empire star fighting for his professional and personal life. He alleged that on January 29, 2019 two men attacked him at two in the morning as he left a national sandwich chain in his hometown of Chicago. The assailants reportedly splashed him with a mysterious liquid and physically assaulted him — all while shouting racist and homophobic slurs. Problems arose when he was interviewed by the Chicago cops, and his story started changing. Authorities felt something was off. 

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In early 2015, Smollett was a fully employed actor in Hollywood. He had been working steadily since he made his television debut in 1991’s A Little Piece of Heaven (starring Kirk Cameron) and his cinematic debut the following year in the smash hit The Mighty Ducks (led by star Emilio Estevez). Professionally, everything changed when the actor scored a plum role on Empire, which premiered in January of 2015.  

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The stellar Empire actor (which also starred Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard) saw his star steadily rise from character actor to primetime TV star, but then it flickered out with the Jussie Smollett controversy.When detectives dug deeper, they claimed that the entire attack was made up by the actor. Why did he do it and exactly how did this entire headline-grabbing scandal start and progress? All the details are revealed here in an in-depth timeline of the purported attack and subsequent maze of details that has resulted in the actor with no projects in the foreseeable future, per IMDB.


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