Lee Daniels says he is embarrassed by his initial public show of support for former Empire star Jussie Smollett.
Daniels was unwavering in his support for the actor who told police he was ambushed outside his Chicago condo by 2 Trump supporters in January.
The openly homosexual Empire co-creator and director claims he is “beyond embarrassed” by his public support for the narcissistic actor.
Daniels, 59, told Vulture website that when Smollett first reported he was attacked for being homosexual and biracial, he was inclined to believe him because he, too, endured hate over his sexual lifestyle.
Even after Smollett, 33, was arrested and charged with lying to police, Daniels remained a strong vocal supporter, referring to Smollett as “my son.”
Now Daniels claims he is “beyond embarrassed” by his stunning lack of insight. Still, he insists he isn’t sure if Smollett staged the attack on himself.
“I’m telling you that because I love him so much,” Daniels said. “That’s the torture that I’m in right now, because it’s literally if it were to happen to your son and your child, how would you feel? You would feel, ‘Please, God, please let there be that glimmer of hope that there is some truth in this story.’ That’s why it’s been so painful. It was a flood of pain.”
Daniels said he stopped calling Smollett because he was “too busy putting out fires.”
“I had to detach myself and stop calling him, because it was taking away the time I have for my kids, the time I have for my partner,” Daniels said. “It was affecting my spirit and other shows, everything.”
The LGBT+ community is not happy with Daniels’ betrayal. They say it is interesting that Daniels had a change of heart after 2 of his television projects – Empire and Star – were cancelled.
Many say Daniels kicked Smollett to the curb to save his own career.