Wendy Williams is adding her voice to the ongoing conversation surrounding Jussie Smollett after a grand jury handed down a six-count indictment in connection to an alleged staged racist and homophobic attack last year. Although Williams supported the idea of the case being thrown out, speaking during the Hot Topics segment of her daytime talk show on Wednesday, she cast doubt that the Empire actor will ever find work again.
"Chicago should just let this go. Let it go, man. You're wasting time with the court system," Williams said, according to Yahoo Entertainment. "Jussie Smollett is alleged to have done a horrible thing, but with the gang violence and the bad school system in Chicago — you guys have bigger fish to fry."
After the Jan. 2019 attack, which eventually led to Smollett being indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct which were later dropped, the actor had been confirmed to not be returning to Empire, the Fox musical drama on which he had starred since 2015. Since the alleged staged attack and his legal troubles, he has had no other acting credits to his name, and Williams doubts that he ever will again.
"His prison life has already started. He'll never work again. Nobody cares about him," she said. "If I saw him walking down the street I’d cross to the other side."
Williams' comments came just hours after it was confirmed that a Cook County grand jury had returned a six-count indictment of disorderly conduct charging Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers "related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime."
Responding to the newest development in the case, Smollett's legal team questioned the "integrity of the investigation," stating that the indictment "is clearly all about politics not justice."
"After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett," Smollett's attorney, Tina Glandian, said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. "Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence. The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State's Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice."
Meanwhile, special prosecutor Dan Webb, when confirming the indictment Tuesday, claimed that "further prosecution of Jussie Smollett is 'in the interest of justice.'"