Jussie Smollett, the embattled former “Empire” star, was spotted in Studio City, CA, seeking solace in the pages of Matthew Perry’s memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.” The 2022 NYT Bestseller delves into Perry’s struggles with addiction, providing poignant reading material for Smollett during a tumultuous period in his life.
Photographed outside a coffee shop, the 41-year-old actor seemed engrossed in Perry’s autobiography, offering a glimpse into the late actor’s lifelong battle with addiction. Smollett, who recently entered an outpatient rehab facility in October, appeared to focus on the memoir while also engaging with his laptop and phone during the outing.
Amidst his personal challenges, including substance abuse, Smollett is dealing with the aftermath of his criminal trial in Chicago. The actor lost his appeal after being convicted of lying to the police about a hate crime attack he claimed was perpetrated against him. As he awaits the potential resumption of his 150-day jail sentence, the uncertainty looms over when he might surrender himself to authorities.
While details surrounding Smollett’s rehab remain undisclosed, his recent trial hinted at issues related to heavy drug use. Despite the legal and personal turmoil, the actor’s spokesperson has acknowledged his efforts to address these challenges, stating, “Jussie has had an extremely difficult past few years. He has quietly been working very hard for some time now, and we are proud of him for taking these necessary steps”.
The actor’s legal troubles stem from staging an anti-gay, racist attack on himself, leading to his conviction on five counts of disorderly conduct. Smollett claimed the attack was carried out by masked strangers who yelled racist and homophobic slurs, supporting then-President Donald Trump. However, the Osundairo brothers, who testified in court, asserted that Smollett had hired them to stage the attack to enhance his celebrity status.
In March 2022, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail, but an appeals court ordered his release after six days, pending an appeal. The Osundairo brothers subsequently filed a defamation lawsuit, accusing Smollett of portraying them falsely as racist, homophobic, and violent individuals. As Smollett grapples with legal battles, rehab, and public scrutiny, his choice of reading material suggests a desire for insight and reflection during this challenging period.
Derek Chan – Editor