The situation around disgraced Empire star Jussie Smollett keeps unfolding. The actor, who recently complained that he had been the target of a racial and homophobic attack, has been accused of staging the whole incident for publicity and a possible pay raise.
Smollett has been brought up in front of a court as a result of his actions, and it looks like his situation could be much more problematic than many initially thought.
Recent reports indicate that the star might face a severe punishment for his actions, and is currently looking at 16 charges that could land him in jail for a total of 48 years.
His fines alone could potentially be in the range of almost half a million dollars.
If it is true that Smollett’s primary motivation for the staged attack was a financial one, this might be a somewhat ironic twist of fate if all charges ended up sticking.
It is not clear exactly how many of the charges are going to be judged as valid in the end.
A lot of people have stepped forward to comment on the situation.
Many have been supportive of Smollett, while others -- including some of his fellow celebrities -- have accused him of tarnishing their collective reputation, and bringing shame to his race.
Smollett himself has maintained his innocence through the whole ordeal.
The star has been relatively quiet in recent times however, which could indicate that he is gearing up for his legal defense at this point.
Many have pointed out that he would be smart to do so too, given the severity of the charges he is facing at the moment.
Smollett’s attorney, Mark Geragos, stated: "Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption."
The actor is expected to be arraigned on March 14. Geragos added: "We knew that there is no way they would expose their evidence to a public airing and subject their witnesses to cross-examination. What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie."
Do you agree or disagree with Geragos' assessment of the situation?