"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett and Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft may come from polar opposite backgrounds, but they have one thing in common. According to police, they have been caught trying to do incredibly stupid acts.
Smollett was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of filing a false report about a January 29 incident in which he claimed to be the victim of a hate crime. Police say he two men to stage the attack hoping to promote his career, according to Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Smollett's defense lawyer told the court Thursday afternoon that Smollett was not a flight risk and cited his philanthropic work in requesting bail. The judge granted a $100,000 bail, and Smollett paid a $10,000 bond. He was ordered to give up his passport and will remain under supervision until his case is adjudicated.
"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense," Smollett's attorneys said.
Then, news broke today that Kraft had been charged in Jupiter, FL with two counts of soliciting sex resulting from a prostitution and human trafficking investigation in South Florida.
The charges against Kraft came after police used video surveillance to observe activity inside several day spas and massage parlors that police said were used for prostitution. According to police, many of the women involved are considered victims.
More than two dozen male customers were arrested and hundreds have been charged, police said.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further,” spokesman for Kraft and the Patriots said in a prepared statement.
What were these two guys thinking?
Did Smollett really believe he could get away with such a harebrained publicity stunt? Did he not think through the ramifications that would result if his scheme was discovered? What damage will it do to others who actually are the victims of racial and homophobic hate?
And Kraft. Here is a billionaire NFL owner from a famous New England family who presumably could hire the most expensive hooker in the world if he felt the need. What was he doing in a sleazy massage parlor with a bunch of other slobs looking for a "happy ending"?
The sound you hear is my addled brain rattling as I shake my head in dismay.