A jury has found former actor Jussie Smollett guilty for his charges in a case where he was said to have staged an anti-gay, and anti-black attack on himself and then lied to Chicago police officers about it.
Smollett was acquitted for one of these counts.
The verdict comes after a one-week trial during which two brothers provided testimony that Smollett recruited them to commit the attack on him close to his Chicago home in Jan. 2019. Smollett routinley denied these claims. The brothers stated that Smollett planned the hoax, telling them to put a noose on his neck and beat him up in front of surveillance cameras, and that Smollett said he wanted the video of the hoax to be shared via social media.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
— MRCTV (@mrctv) December 9, 2021
Smollett said the brothers were “liars” and said their story was “100% fake.” He testified over the next two days about being a victim of a hate crime, informing the jury ”there was no hoax.”
Abimbola Osundairo, who was a coworker of Smollett on the tv show “Empire,” and his brother, Olabingo Osundairo, also reported that Smollett gave them $3,500 to fake the attack. Smollett said the money was for workout plans and meals that Abimbola Osundairo was giving so the actor could get more toned for his upcoming performances.
The January 29th assault was reported to the police, leading to a huge investigation that a top detective said had some two dozen police officers and 3,000 hours. This investigation — which included surveillance videos, GPS and taxi records — led police officers to the Osundairo brothers, who told detectives that Smollett staged the crime.
Smollett’s defense lawyers argued that the brothers assaulted the actor — who is Black and gay — because they were both homophobic and didn’t like “who he was.” They also say the brothers lied about the assault being staged and paid for by Smollett, and they told him they wouldn’t testify if he gave them $1 million each.
The class 4 felony has a prison sentence potentially of three years, but experts say that Smollett would likely be put on probation and forced to do community service.
Author: Scott Dowdy