A week after her exclusive interview with Empire actor Jussie Smollett, Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts is calling the actor’s alleged hoax “a setback for race relations, homophobia, MAGA supporters.”
“I cannot think of another case where there is this anger on so many sides, and you can understand why there would be,” Roberts said on the ABC show this morning. Her assessment came shortly after Smollett’s arrest on a felony charge of filing a false police report.
Roberts reminded GMA viewers that at the time of her sit-down with the actor, Chicago police “were saying that his account was consistent, it was credible and that he was being cooperative.”
Appearing with Roberts today, ABC News chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams predicted that Roberts’ interview with Smollett could be used by police and prosecutors as evidence since the actor identified the two men as suspects who are now cooperating with police against him.
Abrams’ forecast proved correct: In a news conference following Smollett’s bail hearing in Chicago this afternoon, Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier laid out the case against Smollett, specifically mentioning the actor’s GMA appearance during which he identified a photo of Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo as the men who he said attacked him.
Lanier also said that Smollett’s suggestion on GMA that the attackers were white further misled police and the public.