The famed designed Virgil Abloh, 41, passed away yesterday after battling cancer for two years. He has worked with many big names and was one of the best in the fashion industry, renowned for his work with Louis Vitton and Off-White. Since the news of his death, the world has been in mourning.
A Tribute To The Late Designer
Smollett, 39, took to social media to pay tribute to Abloh, reposting an art picture of the designer made by Nigerian artist Laolu Senbanjo.
The former “Empire” star tagged the artist and wrote in the caption: “Art by @laolunyc.”
He also agreed to Senbajo’s message about Abloh, which he reshared tother with the art: “This is sad news. Virgil was an undeniable influential genius. Showing us all what is possible. For whoever is listening, be kind, live URGENTLY, and be creative 🙏🏿🕊”
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Smollett’s followers also paid tributes to the late entrepreneur by writing notes and dropping emojis in the comments section. However, he limited the post, possibly because of his impending trial, which will happen today.
His Court Case
In a report by ABC News, the singer lied to Chicago police almost three years ago when he reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Smollett received a racist and homophobic threatening letter at the “Empire” set in Chicago in January 2019. The envelope had a return address that reads “MAGA” in red ink. The actor told officials that he used gloves to open the envelope, together with the show’s executive producer. Inside was a threat in cut-out letters: “You will die black (expletive).” In addition to the note, white powder was also found in the envelope, but Police determined the substance to be a crushed pain reliever. Law enforcement later believed that Smollett sent the letter to himself.
A Staged Attack?
A few days later, Smollett reported that he was attacked by two men while walking out of a Subway sandwich shop around the early hours of the morning. He said two men walked up while he was headed to his apartment and yelled racial and homophobic slurs, including “this is MAGA country” during the attack — a reference to the former President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan — “Make America Great Again.” He also claimed that they hit him and wrapped a noose around his neck.
“It’s the attackers, but it’s also the attacks,” Smollet told Time, referring to the false reports and accusations he got slammed with since reporting the incidents. “It’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth. You don’t even want to see the truth.”
The Final Trial
Police have not found any valid evidence or footage of the alleged attack, though they did find a video of Smollett walking home and arriving at his studio building with a rope around his neck.
In February 2019, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the actor staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. According to investigators, they have a $3,500 check that Smollett used to pay two Nigerian brothers to help him.
In February 2020, the grand jury dropped a six-count indictment against Smollett, to which he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Judge James Linn then rescheduled the TV star’s last trial to November 29.