The actor claimed in January 2019 that he had been attacked by two white men while he was on the streets of Chicago – but doubts about the authenticity of Jussie’s claims quickly emerged with two black men claiming he paid them to help stage the incident
Jussie Smollett has been spotted entering court as his long awaited trial begins – almost three years after he allegedly faked a hate crime against himself.
The famed actor, 39 years old, won international sympathy when he claimed that he had been the victim homophobic and racist remarks. He was also attacked by two Trump supporters.
But global sympathy quickly evaporated when police sensationally accused the Empire star of orchestrating the attack himself – with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson furiously accused the star of “[taking] advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Now, the trial against the star has begun. He faces six charges of falsely reporting to police and will be tried in front of a jury.
The actor arrived at a Chicago court on Monday – TMZ shares footage from the starYou look sombre when you wear a navy suit with a face cover.
According to the outlet, among those who arrived with him was a large group of people. “7 family members, including his sister Jurnee Smollett.”
Asked by waiting journalists how he was feeling as he entered court, the actor remained silent but raised a fist into the air.
The actor is reportedly pleading ‘not guilty’ to the charges held against him.
He was previously set to be put on trial in March 2019 with 16 charges held against him – but all charges were dropped unexpectedly by the prosecutor’s office that month.
A special prosecutor then presented the case to a jury – resulting in the current six charges held against the TV actor.
Back in January 2020, Jussie claimed he was attacked by two white men wearing “MAGA” hats – the slogan favoured among President Donald Trump supporters that stands for Make America Great Again.
The men allegedly shouted racist and homophobic slurs at the openly gay actor before allegedly covering him in bleach and putting a rope around his neck.
However, TMZ explains: “Abel and Ola Osundairo eventually came forward and claimed the whole thing was staged.”
The Osundairo brothers (black) told authorities that the actor had paid them money to fake the attack.
The Osundairo Brothers are expected to testify against Osundairo during the case.
Notes from the TMZ “as jury selection finally begins – the trial was delayed due to the pandemic – Smollett faces a possible maximum sentence of 3 years in prison, if he’s convicted on all 6 charges.”
The BBC reports: “It remains unclear if Mr Smollett will testify during the trial, which is expected to last a week.”
Jussie, himself, has declared his innocence during the revelations. He also stated this on Instagram before: “They won’t let this go…there is an example being made.
“It’s a sad fact that the accused is being made an example of someone who did not do what they were being accused of.