Closing arguments set to begin in Jussie Smollett trial

Asia's Tech News Daily

CHICAGO — Closing arguments are set to begin Wednesday in the trial against former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, who is accused of staging an anti-gay, racist attack against himself in downtown Chicago.

Smollett, 39, is charged with six felony counts of disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say were false police reports about the alleged attack in January 2019.

The case is expected to be handed Wednesday to the 12-person jury, who will consider about a week of testimony, including from the actor himself, as they deliberate.

Testifying in his own defense, Smollett repeatedly denied that he orchestrated the attack, insisting that he tussled with two unknown assailants who shouted racist and homophobic remarks near his apartment.

“What happened to me happened,” Smollett said.

chicago, jussie smollett

Jussie Smollett leaving court on Tuesday, Dec. 7. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

AFP via Getty Images

Smollett slammed accusations that he paid brothers, Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo, $3,500 to carry out a fake attack as “100 percent false” and called the men “liars.”

The Osundairo brothers testified last week that Smollett came up with the idea for the bogus attack and that he gave them $100 to buy supplies.

chicago, jussie smollett

A courtroom sketch shows Smollett sparring with prosecutors during his testimony on on Tuesday.

AP

chicago, jussie smollett

Better times: The ‘Empire’ star posed on the red carpet at the 2017 BET Awards.

Getty Images for BET

Prosecutors have suggested that the actor came up with the scheme to get publicity, while his lawyers have questioned the motives of the Osundairo brothers to accuse him of lying about the attack.

Smollett’s lawyers have suggested that they were homophobic and wanted to scare the actor into accepting pricey security services. They have claimed that the men later saw an opportunity to make money and told the actor that they would not testify against him if he agreed to pay them $1 million each.

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