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 in regards to the 2019 incident.

Smollett, who’s Black and brazenly homosexual, instructed Chicago police that he was attacked by two masked males who yelled racist and homophobic slurs in January 2019, authorities mentioned. 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 appearing profession and mentioned he labored as an additional for Spike Lee’s 2015 movie “Chi-Raq” and commonly appeared as an additional on Smollett’s former present “Empire.”

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

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

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

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

Police mentioned Smollett orchestrated the plan due to an nameless hate-filled letter despatched to the studio the place “Empire” was filmed — and mentioned Smollett didn’t assume the risk was taken critically.

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 mentioned Smollett’s accidents have been minor and testified that he refused to show over cellphone data after reporting he’d obtained a threatening telephone name earlier than the alleged assault. She additionally mentioned 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 mentioned they reviewed greater than 1,500 hours of surveillance video. “The mayor on down — all people needed solutions,” he mentioned. “They needed to know what occurred.”

Theis mentioned investigators spent days making an attempt to find out if the brothers have been telling the reality in regards to 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 mentioned.

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

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