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Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Rests – Billboard

CHICAGO (AP) – Jussie Smollett on Tuesday repeatedly denied he staged a racist, anti-gay attack to go public, telling a prosecutor as the trial drew to a close that “there was no hoax from on my side” and the two brothers who testified against him were “liars.”

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Attorney for the former Empire the actor settled their case shortly after Smollett concluded his second day of testimony in a Chicago courtroom alleging he lied to police about the January 2019 assault, prosecutors said. said they had no other witnesses to call, and Judge James Linn scheduled the closing arguments for Wednesday.

On Monday, Smollett called the Osundairo brothers’ testimony that he paid them $3,500 to carry out the fake attack as “100% untrue” and described him as the victim of a crime hatred while walking in downtown Chicago. He also testified that the $3,500 check to Abimbola Osundairo was for a meal and a workout plan because he was trying to get in shape for an upcoming music video.

Under cross-examination by special counsel Dan Webb, Smollett said on Tuesday that a few days before the attack, he picked up Abimbola Osundairo in his car to go to the gym and his brother. Osundairo, Olabingo Osundairo, also accompanied. Smollett refuses brother’s previous testimonies that they drove around together – around the area where the attack is said to have happened three times – as part of a “run away” for the mock attack. He said traveling around the area was not unusual behavior for him and he put his plans on hold because he did not want to work with Olabingo Osundairo, whom he did not invite to accompany him.

Smollett who is calm throughout witness hour with his defense attorney on Monday, appeared to become more irritated during his exchange with Webb on Tuesday, at one point telling the veteran prosecutor he did not understand the network application Instagram social. Webb’s cross-examination also revealed several inconsistencies in Smollett’s testimony, including whether he sent private messages confirming the time of the attack and whether the attackers whether he was white or not, as police said Smollett had told them.

When Webb asked Smollett if he had sent Abimbola Osundairo private messages about the time of the fake attack to Abimbola Osundairo using the app on the night of the alleged attack, Smollett replied that “there was no call” any spoofing attack” and refused to send the message. After Webb showed Smollett four messages Smollett had sent to Abimbola Osundairo that night while the actor was at the airport because his flight home to Chicago was delayed, Smollett told Webb: “If you say So, sir.”

In the last text message – sent at 12:41 a.m. on January 29, 2019, about 90 minutes before the attack – Smollett told Osundairo he had finally arrived home. Smollett attested that he was sending the message to arrange a workout, not a phishing attack.

During Monday’s testimony, Smollett said he was returning home from shopping for a sandwich around 2 a.m. when someone yelled at him a racist, homophobic comment referencing the chapter television program. Empire. This person also shouted something about “MAGA country”, a clear reference to then-President Donald Trump’s slogan of “Make America Great Again”. He testified that the slogan was also scrawled over a hate letter – which featured a stick hanging from a noose – that Smollett had received earlier on the set of “Empire”.

Smollett said when he turned to confront the person, a man hit him in the head and he fell to the ground, where he said another person kicked him before the attackers fled. Smollett said he noticed a rope, like a noose, wrapped around his neck after the attack. When he returned home, a friend called the Chicago police, which Smollett said he wouldn’t do because, as a black man, he didn’t trust the police.

Asked by Webb on Tuesday if he had said the brothers were his attacker, Smollett replied: “No, I don’t know. There’s no way for me to know that.” Webb then asked Smollett if he recognized the voice of Abimbola Osundairo – who was passing by Bola – during the incident.

“In that moment, I wouldn’t stop and say, ‘Hey Bola is that you? “” Smollett testified.

Last week, two brothers testified that the attack masqueraded as Smollett’s idea, and he gave them $100 for supplies including a rope to tie a noose around his neck, and instructions they shouted racist and homophobic slurs and “MAGA”.

Smollett also said of the Osundairo brothers’ testimony that he staged the attack: “They were liars.”

Smollett, 39, was charged with six counts of disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors said was a false police report of the alleged assault – one count for each times he reported – to three different officers. The fourth-degree felony carries a sentence of up to three years in prison, but experts say if Smollett is found guilty he could potentially be placed on probation and ordered to do community service.

https://www.billboard.com/business/legal/jussie-smollett-defense-rests-1235006849/ Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Rests – Billboard

Dais Johnston

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