Story at a glance

  • Jussie Smollett faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly lying about orchestrating a racist, homophobic attack against himself.
  • Smollett took the stand on Monday and detailed an intimate relationship with one of his alleged attackers, Abimbola Osundairo.
  • Osundairo previously took the stand last week and testified that the two men did not have a sexual relationship.

Jussie Smollett took the stand in his criminal trial on Monday as the actor faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly lying about orchestrating a racist, homophobic attack against himself.

As the contentious trial entered its second week, 39-year-old Smollett took the witness stand and told jurors what led up to the alleged attack that took place two years ago in Chicago and involved brothers Abimbola and Ola Osundairo. 

Smollett’s trial centers on an alleged hate crime that took place in Chicago in 2019 when Smollett, who is Black and gay, allegedly hired the Osundairo brothers to yell racial and homophobic slurs at him. The prosecution argued the actor lied about the incident as a means to motivate action from his producers while he was filming the TV show “Empire.”  

The defense said the attack did in fact take place and was not staged, with Smollett’s attorney, Nenye Unche, calling 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 affected both brothers’ careers, having lost talent agent contracts and career opportunities.


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Last week, Abimbola Osundairo took the stand and gave damning details about how Smollett allegedly orchestrated the attack step by step, including organizing a dress rehearsal, dictating what supplies the Osundairo brothers should use and even what the condolence text message should read after the incident took place. 

Now Smollett has responded to that testimony, saying on Monday on the witness stand that he was being paid $100,000 per episode by season five of “Empire,” according to The Associated Press (AP)

Smollett also said he met Abimbola in 2017 at a club, where he learned both of the men were working on the set of “Empire.” From there, Smollett detailed an extensive relationship between the two men, saying they, “made out,” did drugs and participated in sex acts together.

That contradicts Abimbola’s testimony from last week where he alleged he had no sexual relationship with Smollett. 

The defense has been arguing that Chicago police rushed to judgement in Smollett’s case when they brought charges against him and have also suggested that a third person may have been involved in the attack.

Anthony Morre, a security guard, also testified on Monday and said around the time of the alleged attack on Smollett, he saw a person on the ground and two men running. Moore said he told police what he saw but when he was later questioned by the special prosecutor he felt pressured to change his story. 

According to AP, Moore testified that he signed a statement that said the person was “possibly” a Black man, but that he felt “pressured and threatened to put something out there that I didn’t see.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, Smollett’s case could wrap up Monday.


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Published on Dec 06, 2021