• Jussie Smollett was accused of allegedly staging a hate crime attack against himself
  • All the charges were dropped against him
  • His sister has been looking up to her sibling post the controversy 

Jussie Smollett’s sister recently opened up about the controversy surrounding her brother’s alleged hate crime attack and called the experience "devastating."

Smollett was indicted with 16 counts of disorderly conduct in March last year for allegedly staging the alleged hate crime attack against himself. However, the same month, all the charges were dropped against the "Empire" actor.

In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor’s sister, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, said the controversy has "been f’-----g painful" for the family.

"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 told the outlet.

Smollett-Bell went on to defend her brother saying, "Everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother."

"We are blessed to have a community of people who know him, and know that he wouldn't do this," Jurnee continued, adding that since the controversy, she has been looking up to her sibling.

"I look at him sometimes and I'm like, 'He's so strong,'" she told the outlet.

Meanwhile, after the charged were dropped Smollett, his attorneys released a statement to People saying, "Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment."

His family too released a statement saying, "Jussie is a son, a brother, a partner, a champion for human rights, and a genuine soul who would never be capable of what he was falsely accused of. He was the victim of an assault and then falsely blamed for his own attack … Truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated."

However, in February this year, the actor was indicted again on similar charges, alleging he made "four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime."

Jussie Smollett
Actor Jussie Smollett leaves Leighton Criminal Courthouse after his court appearance on March 14, 2019 in Chicago. Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images