The View discussed Jussie Smollett being found guilty of five of six counts of lying about a hate crime and disorderly conduct. Despite being found guilty, Smollett maintains his innocence, which flies in the face of the evidence against him. On the whole, The View co-hosts felt that the only way for Smollett to come back into the public's good graces is to act contrite.
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'What I would like to see when he arrives before the sentencing judge is complete contrition and penance," said Sunny Hostin, according to Primetimer. "If he gets there, then I think there is a place for forgiveness in our country."
Ana Navarro said that she didn't think Smollett could possibly be lying at first. But as more came out about the story, she became concerned that people who are actual hate crime victims should still feel safe to come forward about their experiences.
"When it first happened, it was unimaginable to anybody that it could be a hoax. I think that for a lot of us, it read as believable there there could be hate crimes, because there are hate crimes against minorities and against LGBTQ [people]," she said. "The big message that should come out for everybody out of this is that it should not deter people who are the victims of real hate crimes from reporting them." She also said that Navarro should "accept responsibility" and pay Chicago back "for all of the time and resources they spent investigating this false accusation, and to show a little humility and remorse."
"Sentencing is coming, and he keeps sticking to the story when there's a copy of the check he paid these brothers to beat him up," she continued.
Laverne Cox, who was the episode’s guest host, might be the person most qualified to speak on Smollett’s situation, since she said she is actually friends with Smollett.
“Full disclosure, Jussie is a dear friend of mine. I love him so much. I still don’t want to believe this,” she said, adding that in Smollett’s testimony, he admitted to taking drugs.
“I don’t have any evidence that he is addicted to drugs, but we know that when drugs are involved, people don’t always make the best decisions, and they don’t always surround themselves with the best people, places, and things…Hopefully, he will start surrounding himself with better people, places, and things. I think of Robert Downey Jr., who battled drugs publicly many years ago and has turned his life around. I’m sending Jussie love. I’m sending his family love. And I just wish him the best.”
Sara Haines tried to make a political point by saying liberal “leaders” stood with Smollett too fast, but Navarro took her to task for not calling out the fact that Republican leaders haven’t denounced Josh Duggar, who was convicted on child pornography counts.
"Well yesterday, also, Josh Dugger got convicted, found guilty, of child pornography. And guess what? There are pictures all over, all online, of him with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee," she said. "Here's the bottom line. It is not their fault that Josh Duggar was a pornographer, and they didn't know. And it's not Kamala Harris' fault or Joe Biden's fault or Cory Booker's fault or anybody's fault that their natural reaction was to empathize with somebody who we all, at first thought, was the victim of a hate crime. Can we focus on the guilty parties?"
“Here’s the bottom line. It is not their fault that Josh Duggar was a pornographer, and they didn’t know. And it’s not Kamala Harris’ fault or Joe Biden’s fault or Cory Booker’s fault or anybody’s fault that their natural reaction was to empathize with somebody who we all, at first thought, was the victim of a hate crime. Can we focus on the guilty parties?”
Hostin backed up Navarro, reiterating her wish to see “contrition” from Smollett.
“[S]entencing is coming up, and we konw he is facing as much as three years in prison,” she said. She also said she wants Smollett to finally admit that he made poor decisions and to ask for forgiveness from the court and others.
Smollett found guilty of charges related to paying $3,500 to brothers Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo to help him stage an attack, including telling them to yell "MAGA country" and hang a noose around his neck.
Smollett did admit to taking drugs and having a sexual relationship with one of the brothers, but maintained that he only paid them for nutritional and training advice. Video of Smollett with the brothers ws caught on surveillance camera, which was presented to the court.
The prosecutor on the case called the verdict “a resounding message by the jury that Mr. Smollett did exactly what we said he did,” according to the Associated Press.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb said of the case, “Not only did Mr. Smollett lie to the police and wreak havoc here in the city for weeks on end for no reason whatsoever, but then he compounded the problem by lying under oath to a jury.”
Smollett’s attorney Nenye Uche said, “Unfortunately we were facing an uphill battle where Jussie was already tried and convicted in the media and then we had to somehow get the jury to forget or unsee all the news stories that they had been hearing that were negative for the last three years.”
The attorney for the Osundairo brothers said her client “could not be more thrilled and pleased with the results,” according to AP.