Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett recently publicly addressed her brother Jussie Smollet’s pending court case.
Jurnee revealed that the scandal—Jussie has been accused of staging a hate crime against himself in 2019—and the resulting fall out has placed a strain on her entire family. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she said, “It’s been fucking painful.”
“One of the most painful things my family’s ever experienced—to love someone as much as we love my brother, and to watch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating,” she continued.
She shared that she found the situation particularly hard to deal with. “I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I’ve tried to not let it make me pessimistic,” she said.
Jurnee, who’s set to star in the highly anticipated sci-fi HBO series set during Jim Crow, revealed she recently filed for divorce from her nearly 10 year marriage to husband Josiah Bell. She’s happily raising their 3-year-old son Hunter.
But even with the shifts in her personal life, the 33-year-old shared with The Hollywood Reporter that she’s found some light in the darkness: her tight knit family, which includes her mom, four brothers and a sister, and their continued support for each other. She also stated that she’s standing by Jussie. “But everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother,” she added. “We are blessed to have a community of people who know him and know that he wouldn’t do this.”