Disgraced former actor Jussie Smollett is directing a new film while appealing his conviction for fabricating a hate crime, according to TMZ.
Smollet was spotted on the set of his new film, “The Lost Holiday,” in Orange County, California, per the outlet. The film will supposedly star veteran actress Vivica A. Fox, who is purportedly close friends with Smollett. (RELATED: Jussie Smollett, Osundairo Brothers Went Through ‘Dry Run’ Of Hate Crime Hoax, Prosecutor Says).
Fox and Smollett worked together on his former show, “Empire,” in 2019, around the same time he staged his fake hate crime. Fox defended Smollett from the hoax allegations and told TMZ in 2021 she wanted to work with him again.
Jussie Smollett Directing New Film With Vivica A. Fox As He Appeals Conviction https://t.co/AiMZUNwg25
— TMZ (@TMZ) June 23, 2023
“I’ll definitely be doing something with him in the future,” Fox told TMZ in 2021, “I believe in Jussie. Stand by, he’s good. He’s family, always going to be family.”
Smollett’s appeal for his racial hate crime hoax has been continued five times, according to TMZ. The court has allegedly denied any further continuances and will hear the appeal in December. If the appeal fails, Smollett will reportedly have to spend five months behind bars. The former actor spent one week in jail in March 2022 but was released pending the appeal, per the outlet.
Smollett claimed he was assaulted by two Trump supporters in Chicago’s upscale Streeterville neighborhood in January 2019. He told police the assailants called him racist and homophobic slurs. He also alleged they placed a noose over his neck and poured bleach on him while shouting, “This is MAGA country!” during the assault.
The two purported Trump supporters turned out to be Nigerian brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who were extras on the set of Smollett’s former show, “Empire.” The brothers later claimed Smollett faked the hate crime. Smollett’s character was removed from the show and Fox subsequently cancelled the entire series.