Taraji P. Henson shares her thoughts on the Jussie Smollett case.
The 48-year-old actress plays Cookie Lyon, the mother to Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon on the popular TV show “Empire.”
Henson believes the “truth has finally been set free” after prosecutors decided not to go ahead with the 16 counts of disorderly conduct they had charged him with following allegations he staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself in January.
She admits she is delighted charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped.
Speaking to USA Today newspaper, she said, “I’m happy that the truth has finally been set free because I knew it all along. We’re all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed.”
She insisted she would have always stood by her on-screen son.
Henson added, “I’m not going to jump on clickbait just because someone says something derogatory about a person I know and love. I’m not easily swayed like that. Those little clickbait (reports) weren’t enough to deter me from his immaculate track record. I know the type of activism this young man does in his community, I know that he’s a giver – he’s not an attention-seeker.
“When I know someone, there’s nothing you can say to make me flip on them, and that’s what we miss in this world. We need people that stand by us. Whatever happened to that? Why are we so easy to believe strangers over people we know?”
The Hidden Figures actress believes the case shows victims should always be “absolutely believed.”
She continued, “We should absolutely believe victims. That’s why a lot of people, especially females, feel like they can’t come forward saying they’ve been raped. I believe that’s why we have a whole #MeToo movement because women have felt they couldn’t come forward because they’d be criminalized in some way. Movements don’t just come out of the sky — movements happen because they’re needed. You have a group of people who haven’t been heard.”
The 36-year-old actor was written out of the final two episodes of “Empires” fifth season to “minimize disruption” to the set, but Fox hasn’t yet announced whether he’ll be back as Jamal Lyon for season six.