Story at a glance

  • The trial of Jussie Smollett continues in Chicago and one key witness took the stand on Wednesday.
  • Abimbola Osundairo, one of Smollett’s alleged attackers, testified that the actor reached out to him and his brother to stage a fake hate crime.
  • According to Osundairo, Smollett orchestrated the entire process, organizing a dress rehearsal and specifying what supplies to use.

New damning testimony by one of actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged attackers portrays a methodical and deliberate scheme orchestrated by Smollett to portray the actor as a helpless victim of a hate crime.

39-year-old Smollett was an actor in the TV show “Empire” which was filmed in Chicago. According to Dan Webb, special prosecutor, Smollett was seeking attention after he received a lukewarm response from his studio regarding a hate letter he received. 

Webb said that Smollett decided to hire brothers Abimbola and Ola Osundairo to stage a fake hate crime against him, saying “​​I want you to fake beat me up," according to local news.

In critical testimony, 28-year-old Abimbola testified in court on Wednesday and explained how he was approached by Smollett to stage a fake racist, homophobic attack against the actor, with instructions on what supplies to use all the way to what to write in a condolence message.


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 According to the Associated Press, Abimbola told jurors Smollett instructed him to punch the actor, but “not too hard.” Once Smollett was on the ground, Abimbola said Smollett told him to give the actor “a bruise” and “give him a noogie,” or rub his knuckles against Smollett’s head.

Abimbola also detailed a dress rehearsal that was planned by Smollett before the alleged staged attack, with the actor driving the brothers to the location where it would take place. They decided to use bleach rather than gasoline and Smollett said he wanted a city security camera to capture the attack for media purposes.

Per Smollett’s instructions, Abimbola said he and his brother Ola met the actor around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2019 in Chicago. Abimbola shouted a homophobic slur while Ola said, “this is MAGA country,” a reference to former President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, make American great again. 

After that the brothers put a noose around Smollett’s neck and threw bleach on him, then ran away from the scene, according to Osundairo.

The next morning, Smollett’s attack grabbed national headlines and, per the actor’s instructions, Abimbola told jurors he texted Smollett saying, “Bruh, say it ain’t true. I’m praying for speedy recovery.” 

According to Abimbola, he was given a $3,500 check from Smollett and that the money was for helping stage the attack and for a nutrition and workout program.

As to why he said yes to working with Smollett, Abimbola told jurors that at the time he worked as a stand-in on the show “Empire” and felt indebted to Smollett for helping with his acting career.

Smollett’s defense team has argued that the alleged attack did in fact take place and left Smollett bruised and battered. According to local news, Smollett’s attorney Nenye Unche called the Osundairo brothers, "sophisticated, highly intelligent criminals," and said their apartment had, "weapons of war," including multiple guns, ammunition, and heroin.

The brothers have also filed a defamation suit against two of Smollett’s attorneys in 2019, shortly after news of the hate crime allegedly being staged surfaced. The suit alleges that Smollett’s attorneys made false and harmful allegations about the brothers to the public in order to distract from Smollett’s own guilt. They also claim the comments have impacted both brothers’ careers, having lost talent agent contracts and career opportunities.

Smollett has pleaded not guilty to six counts of disorderly conduct, a class 4 felony that carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.


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Published on Dec 02, 2021