Charlamagne tha God blasts Jussie Smollett for alleged hoax: 'I never believed this story'

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Charlamagne tha God addressed the Jussie Smollett controversy on his popular radio show "The Breakfast Club" Thursday — the day the "Empire" star was arrested for "disorderly conduct" and "filing a fake police report" in his own attack that led to a weeks-long criminal investigation.

Smollett has continued to maintain his innocence in the matter and even returned to the Chicago set of "Empire" just hours after posting $100,000 bail. His lawyers vowed to "mount an aggressive defense" and told Fox News their client "enjoys the presumption of innocence." He has since been cut from the final two episodes of the Fox series.

But the radio host argued that he's been skeptical of Smollett's story "from the beginning," though he decided to withhold judgment, including his opinion, until details unfolded.


During the opening of "The Breakfast Club" Thursday, Charlamagne tha God recalled information Smollett provided police about the alleged racial and homophobic attack by two men in late January. The actor said the men wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an "unknown substance" on him. Police said Smollett also told detectives at the time that the attackers yelled, "This is MAGA country," a reference to President Trump's campaign slogan.

"I never believed this story. From the beginning, this story sounded unbelievable — very sketchy."

— Charlamagne tha God

"I never believed this story. From the beginning, this story sounded unbelievable — very sketchy. But I didn't feel the need to call BS on this story because of my feelings ... my intuition could be wrong," Charlamagne explained.

"In this situation, I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he's a black man. And why wouldn't I believe a black man who tells me he's been the victim of a hate crime? Why wouldn't I believe a gay man who tells me he's the victim of hate crime? Well, I didn't. And since I didn't believe, and I had no reason not to believe him, I did what is very hard for us to do in this era, and that's not have an opinion on this situation," the radio host added, blasting those who choose "feelings over facts."

Charlamagne tha God said everyone's immediate reactions to the Smollett case proves that people "grasp onto whatever reconfirms our biases."

"He played with our emotional heartstrings," he said.


Like the Chicago Police Department, which blasted the star Thursday for allegedly orchestrating the "phony attack," Charlamagne tha God also scolded social media users for giving Smollett so much publicity.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, too, blamed celebrities for making the TV star national news while other Chicago families struggle with gun violence every day in one of the nation's most crime-ridden cities.

“Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor,” Johnson argued, according to Deadline, though he later added he would continue to pray for the "troubled young man."


"This is why, even though it's very hard, a lot of times this noise we hear on social media ... it's better to say nothing," Charlamagne tha God echoed. "I wanted to wait until all the facts came out so I could speak from a place of facts and not feelings."

As he concluded his nearly 10-minute discussion on the subject, Charlamagne tha God blasted Smollett as "nothing but a clout chaser."

"If the roles were reversed and some white MAGA supporters made up a lie like this and it caused some black men to get incarcerated, we would be rioting. We'd be asking the judge to throw the book at them," he added. "We have to keep the same energy with Jussie, because we can't become what we claim to hate."

If convicted, Smollett is facing up to three years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.