Just when you thought we had closed the book on the bizarre saga that is the Jussie Smollett case, after a judge ruled that the actor was guilty on multiple counts of disorderly conduct for lying to the police in relation to the potential staging of his own hate crime in 2019, it turns out he still claims he was innocent.

Appearing on Sway in the Morning promoting his upcoming directorial debut, B-Boys Blues, Smollett talked about the level of media attention his case received and how it still bothers him that after it all, people still don't believe he's innocent, especially those still trying to defend him with arguments predicated on “Well, even if he did do xyz.”

Given all the years he's spent through out his career representing issues of social justice and advocating for equality in his work, Smollett argued that he isn't the sort of person that would would undermine those values by staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself as cry for attention. “If I had done this, I’d be a piece of shit... That’s not really questionable,” Smollett told the show's host (inadvertently giving Pride month its own version of OJ Simpson's If I Did It in the process).

“If I had done something like this, it would mean that I stuck my fist in the pain of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years,” he said. “We’re not even talking about in Africa because that’s an even deeper, larger conversation. It would mean that I stuck my fist in the fears of the LGBTQ community all over the world. I’m not that motherfucker. Never have been, don’t need to be, didn’t need to have a ... rise in his career. I was on the up-and-up.”

Smollett was released from prison this past March after a judge ruled to cut his 150-day sentence short. The judge agreed with Smollett's attorneys that given the actor's non-violent offense conviction, and that even though an appeal was already denied, any other attempts to appeal the ruling would end up getting schedule for a date well after the actor had served out his sentence. Throughout the whole ordeal, Smollett has maintained that "there was no hoax" and “I could have said I am guilty a long time ago.”

Check out Jussie Smollett's full interview on Sway in the Morning below.

Photo via Getty/ Nuccio DiNuzzo