What Does The Jussie Smollett Case Mean For R. Kelly?

Empire star Jussie Smollett was recently caught up in one of the biggest scandals of 2019– the story has had many twists and turns, almost rivaling the intense plot of his show, and has left many people still wondering– what exactly happened?

Smollett contacted the Chicago Police Department at 2:42 a.m. on January 29th, reporting that he had been attacked, beaten, had a noose put around his neck and bleach poured on him by two men who repeatedly yelled “this is MAGA country” as well as racial and homophobic slurs. Smollett said the two men who attacked him were white and wearing ski masks. Smollett took himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for the fractured rib he received during the beating and discharged the following Tuesday morning.

It was later discovered by police that the two men who attacked Smollett were two Nigerian brothers, who cooperated in their investigation with Chicago PD and reported that Smollett had asked them to participate in the attack, paid them and had orchestrated the beating himself. The two brothers were released from custody and were no longer considered suspects in the case. Resulting in Smollett being investigated as a suspect in a hate crime against himself.

But the case against Smollett was dropped on March 26, including all 16 felony counts of lying to police against him, he will only have to surrender a $10,000 bond.

But how does this affect R. Kelly?

Kelly’s case may now be less likely to be dismissed as Smollett’s was. "I think it makes it more difficult for a friendly disposition because they’re going to be extremely reluctant to admit they brought these cases with scant evidence or that there are any other problems," said Kelly’s lawyer.

If both cases are dismissed, these men could be labeled scapegoats and become the poster children for a possibly failing and untrustworthy system. Kelly’s lawyer is worried that prosecutors will be looking for a big win, and now that Smollett pretty much got away with it, they’ll want to make Kelly an example. Smollett getting off could mean Kelly has less of a chance at a plea deal, and the singer could be looking at some serious jail time if he is proven guilty.

Authorities of the city of Chicago, however, are extremely unhappy with the results of Smollett’s case and are now threatening to prosecute Smollett if he does not reimburse the city of the $130,106.15 that was spent investigating a false police report. If Smollett does not pay the city back, he could be facing new charges and will have to go to court again.

Whether or not these men are guilty of the crimes they have been accused of is up for the people to decide for themselves, whether or not they are punished is up to the court. However, both of these cases, although they are awful, are initiating more necessary conversations about racism, rape culture and many other serious issues that we are facing. Although the actions these men are accused of are unacceptable, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. So keep those conversations going, because we are in desperate need of them.