A judge in Chicago has said that accusations that actor Jussie Smollett organised an attack against himself which was intended to look like a hate crime, show just how fucked up people in the US are, and how tricky it is to be a judge.
Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke was commenting after it emerged that Smollett, a black man, may well have lied about the attack on himself, in which he said two white men grabbed him from behind, punched and kicked him in the head and body, poured chemicals on him, put a noose around his neck, hung him from a tree, disembowelled him, then tied him to a horse which then galloped five furlongs.
These men, said the judge, were really two of the blackest men one could ever hope to meet.
The two men, Ola and Abel Osundairo, who are from Nigeria, are helping Chicago police piece the story together so that it makes a good show for TV.
Judge Lyke said of Smollett's case:
"These claims against Mr Smollett are either uttterly outrageous and despicable, if true, or else completely fabricated, and disgracefully disgusting, if not. Either way, it's a right old fucking mess, if you ask me."
Evidence was, meanwhile, mounting against the actor.
It now seems clear that he was dissatisfied with his huge $65,000-per-episode paychecks and the stardom that has come his way through appearing in the TV series Empire, and decided that, instead of asking for a rise, he'd stage his very own hoax hate crime, and go to the newspapers crying about it.
As you do.