Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett maintained under oath on Monday that he did not stage the anti-gay, racist attack on himself in which he claims "MAGA" supporters beat him up, threw bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck.
He testified during his trial that "there was no hoax."
That's his story and he's sticking to it...although, I wonder if he understand the repercussions of lying under oath....oof.
The actor who starred on the TV show “Empire” is expected to share his account of what happened in January 2019 in an attempt to refute damaging testimony from two brothers who testified last week. They said Smollett, who is gay and Black, orchestrated the hoax to get publicity, giving them $100 for supplies and instructing them to place a noose around his neck and yell homophobic slurs. They also said Smollett paid them $3,500 to carry it out.
Defense attorneys have suggested the brothers, who are Black, were motivated to accuse Smollett of staging the hoax because they disliked him and then saw an opportunity to make money. They suggested that after the brothers, Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo, were questioned by police about the alleged attack, they asked Smollett for $1 million each to not testify against him at trial.
His lawyers are also attempting to argue that a third person may have been involved in the attack.
What a weak argument. If that's all the defense has, then we might as well close this case today!
Smollett’s lawyers also have argued that Chicago police rushed to judgment when they brought charges against Smollett, and suggested a third person may have been involved in the attack.
Prosecutors say Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with the “Empire” studio’s response to hate mail he received. The letter including a drawing of a stick figure hanging by a noose, with a gun pointed at it, and the word “MAGA” — an apparent reference to then-President Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.” The Osundairo brothers testified that Smollett told them to yell “this is MAGA country” during the fake assault.
Brett Mahoney, who produced “Empire” in Chicago, testified earlier Monday that Smollett called him after the hate mail was sent to the set.
“We were obviously all very upset about the letter,” Mahoney said, adding that law enforcement was contacted and the letter turned over to authorities. He said Smollett agreed to added on-set security, but didn’t want anyone following him home because he felt it was too intrusive.
The hate mail may have been real. I am not entirely set on that...however, this bogus attack from Trump supporters is absurd and I truly believe that most people see straight through the lies.
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