Prosecutors in the case of Jussie Smollett say that he conducted a “dry run” of his alleged attack one day before the actual incident.
The trial against the “Empire” actor, who is accused of lying to police about his involvement in a hate crime, kicked off on Monday (Nov. 29). As the prosecution made their opening statements, Dan Webb made mention of surveillance footage that shows Smollett doing a “dry run” of the attack with siblings Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo in the area where the assault allegedly occurred. They also showed footage of the brothers walking near the singer on the night of the incident.
Smollett drew concern in January 2019 when he told Chicago police that he was attacked by two men on his way home from a Subway store. At the time, he claimed that the assailants beat him, drenched him in bleach and placed a noose around his neck while shouting “‘Empire’ faggot,’” “‘Empire’ nigger” and “This is MAGA country.” An investigation into the possible hate crime ensued, leading authorities to the Osundairo brothers, who were in the area, according to numerous city and private sector surveillance cameras. It was later revealed that Smollett befriended the brothers on the set of the FOX show.
According to prosecutors, the actor orchestrated the attack after the “Empire” staff’s lackluster response to a hate letter containing “racial, homophobic and political language” and paid the Osundairo brothers $3,500 to assault him.
Defense attorney Nenye Uche, however, argued that Smollett “is a real victim,” adding that he paid the siblings to train him for an upcoming music video. He suggested that the brothers are homophobic and claimed they attacked the singer because he is gay.
Smollett faces six counts of disorderly conduct and up to three years in prison for allegedly lying about the attack.
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