Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is offering its take on the Jussie Smollett case.
Billed as “ripped from the headlines,” this week’s episode of the NBC drama centers on a celebrity accused of faking an assault in New York, and the resulting media frenzy.
A trailer promoting the episode titled “A Celebrity Is Attacked,” shows the fictional superstar holding a news conference and bashing the NYPD’s handling of his case. A furious Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) responds by saying, “I’m not letting this go.”
In an interview last month with Us Weekly magazine, SVU star Ice-T confirmed the episode was inspired by Smollett’s alleged attack and described it as an “Empire-ish drama”
Smollett was best known for playing Jamal Lyon on Empire for five seasons.
The actor made international headlines on Jan. 29, after he said he was the victim of an attack in Chicago by masked men. Smollett claimed the suspects beat him, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, and told him “this is MAGA country.”
Following a lengthy investigation, police said Smollett staged the attack in hopes of getting a salary bump on Empire. Smollett maintained his innocence and the charges were ultimately dropped.
He is currently fighting a $130,000 lawsuit filed by the City of Chicago to recover funds spent investigating the case. Smollett was written off Empire near the end of season five, and did not return for the Fox drama’s sixth and final season.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Thursday at 10/9c on NBC.