‘Empire’ Actor, Jussie Smollet Staged His Hate Crime Says Aspiring Actor

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Jussie Smollett; lawyers get more time to prepare counter-arguments
Jussie Smollett

According to Associated press, an aspiring actor testified Wednesday that Jussie Smollett recruited him and his brother to stage a homophobic and racist attack on him in downtown Chicago nearly three years ago, saying the former “Empire” star even instructed them on how to throw fake punches.

Abimbola Osundairo said Smollett detailed how Osundairo and his brother should carry out the Jan. 29, 2019, hoax. Smollett planned a “dry run” and gave him a $100 bill to buy supplies, Osundairo testified.

Osundairo told jurors Smollett instructed him to punch Smollett but “not too hard.” Once Smollett was on the ground, Osundairo said Smollett said he should give Smollett “a bruise” and “give him a noogie” — or rub his knuckles hard on Smollett’s head.

Osundairo, who worked as a stand-in on “Empire,” said he and his brother agreed because he felt indebted to Smollett for helping him with his acting career.

Smollett, 39, is charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say was a false police report — one count for each time he gave a report, to three different officers. The class 4 felony carries a prison sentence of up to three years, but experts have said if Smollett is convicted he likely would be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.

Osundairo testified that he and his brother had difficulty identifying a good spot for the staged attack, walking around in the early morning of that Jan. 29 in weather that Osundairo described as “colder than penguin feet.”

According to Osundario, when the brothers spotted Smollett at around 2 a.m., Osundairo — as instructed earlier by Smollett — shouted a homophobic slur and his brother yelled, “this is MAGA country.” “MAGA” was an apparent reference to then-President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”

After punching Smollett in the face and throwing the actor to the ground, they put a noose around his neck and threw bleach on him, then ran away, Osundairo told jurors.

The next morning, as news broke of a hate crime against Smollett, Osundairo said he texted a note of condolence to Smollett, also as instructed. It read: “Bruh, say it ain’t true. I’m praying for speedy recovery.”

Osundairo testified that Smollett gave him a check for $3,500 and wrote on it that it was for a nutrition and workout program. But Osundairo said the money was both for the program and for helping to stage the attack.

A defense attorney told jurors during openings that Smollett was a “real victim” and that the brothers’ accounts are unreliable.

Earlier Wednesday, Osundairo testified that a few days before the attack, Smollett showed him some hate mail he said he received at the TV studio. Jurors viewed the note, which included a drawing of a person hanging by a noose, with a gun pointed at the stick figure.

A few days later, he said, Smollett sent him a text message asking to meet up “on the low,” which he took to mean a private meeting about something secret. Osundairo said it was at that meeting that Smollett first asked him “to beat him up” and asked if his brother could help.

“I was confused, I look puzzled” as Smollett “explained he wanted me to fake beat him up,” Osundairo told jurors.

Osundairo, who worked as a stand-in on “Empire,” said he and his brother agreed because he felt indebted to Smollett for helping him with his acting career.

Smollett, 39, is charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say was a false police report — one count for each time he gave a report, to three different officers. The class 4 felony carries a prison sentence of up to three years, but experts have said if Smollett is convicted he likely would be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.

Osundairo testified that he and his brother had difficulty identifying a good spot for the staged attack, walking around in the early morning of that Jan. 29 in weather that Osundairo described as “colder than penguin feet.”

According to Osundario, when the brothers spotted Smollett at around 2 a.m., Osundairo — as instructed earlier by Smollett — shouted a homophobic slur and his brother yelled, “this is MAGA country.” “MAGA” was an apparent reference to then-President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”

After punching Smollett in the face and throwing the actor to the ground, they put a noose around his neck and threw bleach on him, then ran away, Osundairo told jurors.

The next morning, as news broke of a hate crime against Smollett, Osundairo said he texted a note of condolence to Smollett, also as instructed. It read: “Bruh, say it ain’t true. I’m praying for speedy recovery.”

Osundairo testified that Smollett gave him a check for $3,500 and wrote on it that it was for a nutrition and workout program. But Osundairo said the money was both for the program and for helping to stage the attack.

A defense attorney told jurors during openings that Smollett was a “real victim” and that the brothers’ accounts are unreliable.

Earlier Wednesday, Osundairo testified that a few days before the attack, Smollett showed him some hate mail he said he received at the TV studio. Jurors viewed the note, which included a drawing of a person hanging by a noose, with a gun pointed at the stick figure.

A few days later, he said, Smollett sent him a text message asking to meet up “on the low,” which he took to mean a private meeting about something secret. Osundairo said it was at that meeting that Smollett first asked him “to beat him up” and asked if his brother could help.

“I was confused, I look puzzled” as Smollett “explained he wanted me to fake beat him up,” Osundairo told jurors.

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