Jussie Smollett Tries To Convince the Court ‘There Was No Hoax’
Taking a page out of the Kyle Rittenhouse playbook—though with a very different outcome likely in store—former Empire star Jussie Smollett testified at his own trial on Monday. Authorities have accused the actor of hiring two associates to rough him up and make it look like an anti-black, anti-gay hate crime; he faces six charges of disorderly conduct for allegedly making false reports to the police.
“There was no hoax,” Smollett said on the stand Monday.
It remains to be seen whether a jury will believe that. Last week, the prosecution rested after producing mountains of evidence that Smollett was the, er, mastermind behind the attack. The court room was shown a video the purportedly depicted Smollett and his would-be assailants—Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, two brothers from Nigeria who had worked as extras on Entourage—rehearsing the fake hate crime and canvassing the area where it would take place.
The Osundairo also took the stand, confirming that Smollett had hired them to beat him up—even paying for the rope that he wanted them to tie around his neck like a noose. The brothers, who had previously procured drugs for Smollett, testified that they thought they owed him. They said they didn’t know Smollett intended to talk to the police: They thought he simply wanted media attention and sympathy so that he could make more money on the show.
Smollett denied the allegations on Monday, claiming that he feared fo
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