A body language expert says Empire actor Jussie Smollett‘s interview on Good Morning America featured red flags that were so obvious she knew the “whole thing was staged” then and there.
In a Thursday interview on the Law&Crime Network, Janine Driver, author of the book You Can’t Lie to Me (with Mariska van Aalst), said that she determined Smollett “was a liar right out of the gate.”
Smollett was charged on Wednesday with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report claiming that attackers roughed him up, yelled racist and homophobic slurs (the actor is black and gay), put a noose around him, and poured on him what he believed to be bleach. All lies, police said on Thursday. They claim he paid two men $3,500 by check to help stage the attack. This was a publicity stunt, investigators said. Smollett was disappointed by his income from the show, so he tried to make a grab for attention.
The actor appeared for an interview with GMA host Robin Roberts last week, and said he was “pissed off” at those who did not believe his story.
He displayed signs of obvious lying, Driver told Law&Crime Network host Ashley Willcott. For one, he seemed way too happy when describing the alleged assault, Driver said.
“We saw something as simple as him saying he has respect for people who are victims of any type of violence, and he goes, ‘and now I’m one of those victims,'” she said. “‘I’m one of those victims.’ As he lies, he smiles across his face with enthusiasm. We never saw fear and sadness.”
Another thing Driver took issue with was Smollett’s description of the alleged assault. When people describe attacks, they tend to turn and show where it came from, she said. Smollett didn’t.
The actor also mentioned that that this attack happened near stairs, she said. This detail wasn’t relevant to the viewers, but it was to Smollett, she argued. Driver suggested this meant the actor staged the attack there under the belief that a nearby camera would capture it.
“Immediately, I knew the whole thing was staged,” she said.
You can see the rest of Driver’s step-by-step break down of the alleged deceit in the interview above. You can also see Smollett’s interview below. He goes through his allegations, and begins crying near the end.
“You do such a disservice when you lie about things like this,” he said.
[Screengrab via GMA]