Jurnee Smollett did not mince words in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Sadly, the former child actor shared that since she was 12 years old, she has been sexually harassed on the set of every TV and film set she has worked on with the exception of one.
“I don’t know that I can confidently say that I worked on one job prior to ‘Lovecraft’ — from the time I was 12 on — where I hadn’t been sexually harassed, whether it was by an AD, a co-star, director, producer,” said Jurnee.
In retrospect, she has come to realize that “a guy saying before we’re about to do this love scene, ‘Hey, your tits are going to be hanging in the wind,’ is not OK.” On another project, things got so bad that she asked to be removed from the film.
“And they let me out,” she recalled. She admits that her then-agent’s reaction to the alleged behavior, which was some variation of “Oh, you know, he’s just being a man,” still angers her to this day.
“It’s been f-cking painful,” the “Lovecraft” actress confessed, “one of the most painful things my family’s ever experienced — to love someone as much as we love my brother, and to watch someone who you love that much go through something like this, that is so public, has been devastating.”
One of the more “maddening” parts of the entire ordeal has been the fact that she is limited by what she can say in connection to the incident as the investigation is still ongoing.
Jurnee, who filed for divorce earlier this year, went on to explain that when news of the scandal broke, she was going through her own personal challenges at the time, which made dealing with the backlash even more difficult.
“I was already in a very dark space for a number of reasons, and I’ve tried to not let it make me pessimistic,” the Birds of Prey actress added. “But everyone who knows me knows that I love my brother and I believe my brother.”
And clearly, the love is mutual. After she filed to end her ten-year marriage to Josiah Bell, Jussie briefly moved in to offer support and look after her.
“I mean, f-ck, man, I look at him sometimes and I’m like, ‘He’s so strong,'” she said.
As for what Jussie is up to these days, Junee said, “he’s staying creative, as creatives do, singing, writing, working on music.”
As you probably recall, the former “Empire” star alleged that he was attacked by two men who tied a noose around his neck and shouted racial slurs at him. He was later accused by the Cook County Prosecutors Office of staging the attack. The charges against the 38-year-old actor were eventually dropped, but he was later indicted again. This time, with sixteen counts of felony disorderly conduct.