Dog The Bounty Hunter weighed in on the continuing Jussie Smollett situation, surprisingly coming to the Empire star's defense and pointing out he has apologized and "paid" for the alleged accusations against him already.
The reality star discussed the case while appearing on The Domenick Nati Show, calling it a "stupid thing" that was blown out of proportion because of Smollett's status as a celebrity. The bounty hunter, real name Duane Chapman, said that Smollett's case was a product of the media frenzy and that celebrities face more scrutiny and punishment when they run afoul of the law.
"The criminal justice system is just what that is, criminal justice," Chapman said on the radio show. "They love to pick on celebrities...He walked away with a slap on the hands and I'm sure if they had enough solid concrete evidence they'd have prosecuted him. But they didn't."
For Chapman, the outcome of the case pales to the frenzy and coverage of Smollett or the ongoing college admissions scandal with Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
Chapman also talked a bit about the punishments celebrities seem to face when caught, comparing the costs for someone like Smollett compared to hardened criminals let out on bond.
"Anybody else they'd have said, 'False police report? $25 dollar fine,' but they blew this up across the country," he noted. "Murderers get out for less. Sexual assault of a child gets out for less...Any kind of celebrity, they're going to pay double or triple than a normal non-celebrity."
Closing out his thoughts about Smollett, Chapman gave the Empire star his sympathy.
"I feel so sorry for the guy," Chapman said about Smollett. "And if he made that stuff up and did all that, then you know, he's already said he was sorry and already paid for it in quadruple. Waste of time to even complain about it."
This take from the reality star is a little different than one shared by his spouse, Beth Chapman, earlier this week. According to The Blast, the couple was out enjoying dinner in Beverly Hills amid Beth's battle with cancer. The reality star provided an interesting answer when she was asked about the Smollett case.
"I think that when Michelle Obama calls the prosecutor, you got a pretty good chance of getting charges dropped," Beth said to paparazzi. "Everyone's gotta have friends."
The comments are referencing the claims that Obama's former Chief of Staff Tina Tchen exchanged messages with Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx about the case and reported leaks about it, resulting in her recusing herself from the case.
The response to Smollett's case and the charges being dropped against him has brought out mixed reactions from the public. Many who supported Smollett throughout praised the decision, while others — especially critics of the Empire star — wanted to know what happened.0comments
Representatives for the City of Chicago are seeking $130,000 from the actor in regards to the false claim filed and the investigation that followed. And while Smollett's legal team claims there was no deal made, the prosecutor's office reportedly said that the actor agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond and perform community service. They also did not say they exonerated him and alleged that they could have prosecuted him if this deal was not struck, likely with a similar outcome.
Smollett is still unlikely to return to Empire according to reports and could still reportedly face punishment on a federal level.