Jussie Smollett testifies at trial, says 'there was no hoax'
US actor Jussie Smollett denied fabricating a hate crime against himself during his trial in Chicago, a case that sparked a wave of national outrage.
Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFPJussie Smollett denied fabricating a hate crime against himself during his trial in Chicago.The former Empire actor was accused in 2019 of orchestrating a hoax racist attack to gain publicity and secure a bigger pay cheque.
"There was no hoax," the 39-year-old said while on the stand, local media reported. US actor Jussie Smollett on Monday denied fabricating a hate crime against himself during his trial in Chicago, a case that sparked a wave of national outrage.
The formerEmpire star was accused in 2019 of orchestrating a hoax racist attack in the Midwestern city to gain publicity and secure a bigger pay cheque."There was no hoax," the 39-year-old said while on the stand, local media reported. He denied having spoken about a staged attack at any time with his alleged accomplices. headtopics.com
Smollett, who had been one of the main cast members onEmpire, reported to police in January 2019 that he was attacked in the middle of the night by two masked men while walking near his home in Chicago.But police eventually said he staged the whole thing, based on examination of CCTV images and the cellphone data of Smollett and his two alleged attackers.
Smollett, who is gay and African-American, maintained his innocence in the face of a damning public account from authorities of their case against him.They accused him of sending himself a threatening letter - complete with homophobic and racial slurs - and hiring two acquaintances, brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, to stage the attack while invoking Donald Trump's"Make America Great Again" slogan.
He allegedly paid the brothers $3 500 to participate in the ordeal.The case got even weirder when Cook County prosecutors eventually dropped the initial 16 felony counts against him in March 2019.However, the city did send a letter to Smollett's attorneys, asking the actor to pay the $130 000 cost of overtime work related to the police investigation.
He was indicted again in February 2020 by a grand jury in Cook County, which handles crimes in Chicago, on six counts of disorderly conduct related to the alleged false reporting.Smollett's trial started last Mondaywith very limited media coverage, and the judge prohibited televising the majority of the proceedings. headtopics.com
The prosecutors argued that Smollett had wanted to advance his career and accused the"Empire" production studios of not reacting after receiving a threatening letter.But Smollett's lawyers said he had been attacked by two men, one of them homophobic, motivated by money.
The actor faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison.Payment for training and nutrition programmeIn much-anticipated testimony, Smollett - who was dropped fromEmpire once the allegations against him surfaced - said the $3 500 payment had been for a training and nutrition programme developed by one of the Osundairo brothers.
He and his lawyer then acted out the fight, with Smollett playing the role of the attacker. He later said his employers at the time had pressured him into an interview with a major television station.The Osundairo brothers testified last week they had been paid to stage the assault.
Abimbola Osundairo said Smollett"talked about how the studio was not taking the hate mail seriously."Then he proceeded to tell me he wanted me to beat him up," he said."I was supposed to punch him but not too hard."Abimbola Osundairo said he agreed because he felt indebted to Smollett, who had helped him get a small stand-in role on"Empire." He also denied having a romantic relationship with Smollett. headtopics.com
Olabinjo Osundairo said Smollett had explained the plans for the attack in detail, including what insults to say.The brothers had flown to Nigeria, where they are from, after the alleged attack. They were arrested on their return to Chicago in mid-February.
The indictment and closing arguments are expected later this week, and then the jury will deliberate.The episode revived America's long-simmering debate about how just the country's criminal justice system really is, whether the rich get off easy - and whether prosecutors should have so much discretion.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurredIn times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For onlyR75 per monthRead more: Channel24 »
LIVESTREAM | NSC matric exam results announcement
The matric class of 2021 are eagerly awaiting their results which are to be announced by Education Minister, Angie Motshekga.
CNN fires Chris Cuomo over help he gave to governor brotherCNN fired veteran anchor and correspondent Chris Cuomo, the cable news channel said. I'm so happy I took part on this opportunity with LindaStouffes fear didn't want me to proceed at first but I just said to let go and gave it try. may you continue to excel LindaStouffes Trump always called it fake news😉 Goedsoe. Didn’t these Cuomo brothers whine about Trump every day on the completely biased CNN. Karma taking out propagandists GBVKings and maybe you can report on the violent criminals of Antifas BLM and BigTechCensorship
'All high and mighty, but I am sure she is common in real life' - SA celebs call out cyberbullying | ChannelFans feel closer to their favourite stars than ever before, but social media has also opened the door for bullies to harass, threaten and humiliate people. And being a celebrity doesn't make you immune to that.
Bushiri dares Moja Love | CitypressControversial self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri has asked TV channel Moja Love to include him in the production of a series on his life story or cancel the project. What is he hiding from? Just cancel the project mxm This “man”… his ego holds no bounds. Has he forgotten about the money he stole and the lives he ruined?
Dozen truckers to stand trial for N3 blockadePolice spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker said 12 truck drivers, whose vehicles obstructed the flow of traffic and who defied instructions by police to remove their trucks, were arrested on Sunday. errolbsk And what about the 6 who instigated the July riots? Same 12 that were part of the Kzn July rioting. Funny Good news
Dozen truckers to stand trial for N3 blockadePolice spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker said 12 truck drivers, whose vehicles obstructed the flow of traffic and who defied instructions by police to remove their trucks, were arrested on Sunday. It's has been amazing journey with him making money from the comfort of my home, I promise Hendricksnino77 I was going to tell everyone about his is trustworthy and reliable for him his taking transaction is taking over all market. Hendricksnino77 Good it's by blady time
UPDATE: Malema and Ndlozi’s cop assault trial postponedThe pair are accused of assaulting a police officer at the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018. Wow this is still going on even now! Can they just arrest that racist white police officer