Actor Jussie Smollett recently appeared on Sway Calloway’s SiriusXM show Sway in the Morning to give his first interview since he was sentenced to prison in March for allegedly staging a racist and anti-LGBTQ+ attack on himself.
Shortly after the release of the interview, social media users compared Smollett’s actions with that of Amber Heard by drawing similarities between the former’s Sway in the Morning appearance and Heard’s recent interview with Today show host Savannah Guthrie.
During Smollett’s interview, he said that he believes people felt betrayed by his situation because of the way his story was “served to the public.” The actor also mentioned that he had hoped they knew him better:
“I genuinely thought that people were gonna be like, ‘there’s no way that he did some (stuff) like that.’ I’m just like, ‘Y’all know me.’”
The actor also called out his close friends for not reaching out to him during his legal battle:
“I do hold some people accountable for the things that they said, for the things that they did, for the ways that they reacted. Because half of those people should have picked up the… phone and called me, because they had my number, you know, and they didn’t.”
The former Empire star then denied the allegations made against him and continued to claim his innocence:
“If I had done this, I’d be a piece of sh*t. And I don’t think that’s really questionable. If I had done something like this, it would mean that I stuck my fist in the pain of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years… It would mean that I stuck my fist in the fears of the LGBTQ community, all over the world.”
Jussie Smollett also said that he did not “need to” use the attack to advance his popularity and career as he was already “on the up and up” during the alleged incident.
A look into the comparison between Jussie Smollett and Amber Heard
As Jussie Smollett sat down for a one-on-one interview with Sway Calloway, several people likened his move to Amber Heard’s recent televised interview with Savannah Guthrie. In both interviews, the actors attempted to prove their innocence after being found guilty in their respective legal battles.
Smollett was accused of lying to the police about being the victim of an alleged racist and anti-LGBTQ+ attack. He was later found guilty and charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
The actor was sentenced to 150 days in prison in March but was released from Cook County Jail with a $150000 individual bond, pending appeal.
Meanwhile, Amber Heard was accused of making false abuse allegations against her ex-husband Johnny Depp after losing the defamation lawsuit against the actor. The court ruled that Heard had attempted to defame Depp with her 2018 The Washington Post op-ed in which she had claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse. The actress has to pay Depp around $8 million in damages.
Following the end of their respective legal battles with the verdicts not being in their favour, both Heard and Smollett appeared in interviews to claim their innocence. While Heard said that she still stands by her testimony and her accusations against Depp, Smollett maintained that he did not stage a hate crime.
YouTuber Nate The Lawyer mentioned that Jussie Smollett followed the “Amber Heard model” to prove his innocence despite being found guilty. Meanwhile, YouTube host Eric Hunley said:
“Just when we started to forget Jussie Smollett and are willing Amber Heard to move on, he’s back!”
Several social media users also took to Twitter to react to the comparison between Heard and Smollett.
As comparisons continue to pour in online, it is to be noted that Amber Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft said that the actress has “excellent grounds” to appeal against the Johnny Depp defamation verdict and that her legal team was already planning to do so.
Meanwhile, Jussie Smollett was busy promoting his directorial debut B-Boy Blues, an LGBTQ film about the “complexity of love.” The film is reportedly streaming on BET+ and is an adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s novel of the same name.