Scribbled in history books for some good, bad, ugly, and everything in between, 2019 brought with it some of entertainment’s most memorable moments.
Now, as the year draws to a close, TGJ is reflecting on our favorite moments that rocked – and to some degree maybe even reshaped – the Urban and Pop cultural landscape as we know it.
Next, we look back on the hoax that rocked the nation: the Jussie Smollett scandal:
In late January, That Grape Juice exclusively broke news ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett had been on the receiving end of a homophobic hate crime in Chicago.
As news of the incident spread, celebrities from Janet Jackson to Viola Davis, Halle Berry, and more rallied around the singer/actor in shows of support.
However, after the alleged attackers were apprehended, more details surrounding the attack began to unfold. Many of said details suggested the beat down was orchestrated by Smollett himself.
The information led to the singer/actor’s arrest just a month after the hate crime was first reported.
His worries didn’t stop there. Two weeks after the arrest he was officially charged with a whopping 16 felony counts.
Maintaining his innocence throughout the entire process, March 26th brought with it mysterious news the charges had been dropped. Smollett’s only penalty was the payment of a small fine.
The circumstances surrounding the dropped charges caught the attention of President Donald Trump. After declaring the Department of Justice would investigate the case’s prosecution team, the city of Chicago also filed a whopping $130,000 lawsuit against the singer/actor.
As the year draws to a close, Smollett – who lost his position on ‘Empire’ as a result of the hoopla – is clapping back at the city of Chicago for their alleged aggressive manner of handling the case despite his charges being dropped.
He is also said to be in talks to return to the FOX show for its last few episodes.