Man testifies that Jussie Smollett paid him to “faux beat him up”

This story initially appeared on CBS Chicago.

One of many two brothers who declare actor Jussie Smollett paid them to drag off a faux assault took the stand on Wednesday. Smollett, 39, faces six counts of disorderly conduct and is accused of mendacity to police concerning the 2019 incident.

Smollett, who’s Black and overtly homosexual, informed Chicago police that he was attacked by two masked males who yelled racist and homophobic slurs in January 2019, authorities stated. Smollett claimed the boys put a noose round his neck and poured a chemical on him. However prosecutors say Smollett orchestrated the incident and paid two males $3,500 to stage the assault, which he denies.

Abel Osundairo, one of many brothers, spoke about his personal performing profession and stated he labored as an additional for Spike Lee’s 2015 movie “Chi-Raq” and frequently appeared as an additional on Smollett’s former present “Empire.”

“We turned excellent mates,” Osundairo stated of Smollett. “I’d name him my brother.”

Osundairo testified that Smollett wished him to “faux beat him up” and claimed there was a dialogue of who would punch Smollett. “I imagine he stated there was going to be a digicam to seize the faux assault — that he wished a digicam to seize the faux assault,” Osundairo stated.

When prosecutors requested Osundairo why he would conform to undergo with the plan, Osundairo stated he felt like he owed Smollett. “I agreed to do it, most significantly, as a result of I felt indebted to Jussie,” he stated. “He additionally bought me a stand-in position on ‘Empire,’ and I believed he might additional my performing profession.”

Osundairo and his brother Ola had been initially detained and suspected of finishing up the assault. However Smollett ultimately went from an alleged sufferer to a suspect. The brothers informed investigators that Smollett gave them the cash to purchase the ski masks, rope and purple hats to look like supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Police stated Smollett orchestrated the plan due to an nameless hate-filled letter despatched to the studio the place “Empire” was filmed — and stated Smollett didn’t suppose the menace was taken significantly.

Jussie Smollett
Jussie Smollett in Chicago on November 29, 2021.

Scott Olson / Getty

Earlier Wednesday, Kimberly Murray, a Chicago police detective, took the stand. Smollett is accused of mendacity to her when he reported the incident.

Murray stated Smollett’s accidents had been minor and testified that he refused to show over cellular phone data after reporting he’d acquired a threatening cellphone name earlier than the alleged assault. She additionally stated Smollett declined to show over medical data associated to his accidents and declined a cheek swab in an effort to choose up DNA on the rope that was tied round his neck.

On Monday, Smollett’s protection staff insisted he was the sufferer of an assault perpetrated by the brothers and claimed police made a “rush to judgment” in accusing Smollett of mendacity.

Detective Michael Theis, a lead investigator within the case, disputed this, saying greater than 20 officers investigated the crime Smollett reported for over 3,000 hours. He stated they reviewed greater than 1,500 hours of surveillance video. “The mayor on down — everyone wished solutions,” he stated. “They wished to know what occurred.”

Theis stated investigators spent days attempting to find out if the brothers had been telling the reality concerning the incident being a hoax. “On the finish of the investigation, we decided the alleged hate crime was really a staged occasion — and the hate crime didn’t happen,” Theis stated.

It is unclear if Smollett will take the stand in his protection. 

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