The trial of Jussie Smollett began this week in connection to the January 2019 attack police say the actor staged. Two brothers are key witnesses in the trial, after they came forward with details on how Jussie staged the attack, even instructing them on how to throw fake punches.
Abimbola Osundairo, an aspiring actor and one of the brothers in the case, testified Wednesday (December 1) that Jussie recruited him and his brother to act out the racist and homophobic attack against the Empire star nearly three years ago.
Osundairo –– who worked as a stand-in on Empire –– told the court Jussie planned a “run through” of the attack and gave him $100 to purchase supplies for the attack. He went on to tell jurors that Jussie instructed the aspiring actor to punch him but “not too hard” and once Jussie was on the ground, told Osundairo to give him “a bruise” and “a noogie” where he would rub his knuckles on Jussie’s head.
On why Osundairo agreed to participate in staging the attack, he told the court he felt like he owed Jussie for helping with his acting career.
Osundairo described in detail to jurors how the attack went down –– according to Jussie’s instructions.
The two brothers had difficulty finding a spot to stage the attack in wintry Chicago weather, Osundairo testified. When they spotted Jussie around 2 a.m. one of them yelled out a homophobic slur while the other yelled “This is MAGA country” –– per Jussie’s instructions, Osundairo testified.
The brothers punched Jussie in the face, threw him to the ground, put a noose around his neck, and threw bleach on him before running away, Osundairo told the court.
The next morning, after news of the hate crime against Jussie broke, Osundairo completed instructions laid out by the actor by sending a text of condolence. “Bruh, say it ain’t true. I’m praying for speedy recovery,” the text read.
Osundairo testified that he received a $3,500 check from Jussie that was made out to look like payment for a fitness program. Osundairo said it was for the fitness program and for aiding in the attack.
Jussie’s lawyers said in response to the testimony that the brothers’ accounts are “unreliable.”
The 39-year-old actor is facing multiple charges including six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors describe as false police reports. He’s facing one count for each report he gave, to three different officers.
The felony carries a three-year maximum prison sentence, but legal experts say if the actor is convicted he’ll most likely face probation and community service.