Entertainment

Jussie Smollett went to ‘strip clubs and bathhouses’ with one of Nigerian brothers ‘hired’ in attack


Jussie Smollett told two friends to stage an attack on him in front of a police surveillance camera ‘for media’ – but its lens was pointed the other way at the time, a court heard.

The former Empire star’s alleged attempt to fake an anti-gay hate crime included a plot to ensure footage of the beating could be widely shared, Abel Osundairo told Smollett’s trial for allegedly lying to police on Wednesday.

But the Chicago street camera was facing the opposite direction when Osundairo and his brother Ola allegedly carried out the instructions in January 2019, jurors were told Wednesday.  That meant no footage of the attack – which Smollett is said to have plotted for attention – ever emerged, the Chicago Tribune reported. 

The intimate relationship between the two was further revealed by Osunadaio’s diet plan for Smollett, on trial for six counts of disorderly conduct over claims he lied to police that he’d suffered a homophobic attack.

Shortly before the attack took place, Smollett asked Osundairo, a fitness expert, to help him get in shape for an upcoming music video shoot, the court heard. That saw the man subsequently held in jail for allegedly attacking Smollett prepare a meal plan that included StarKist tuna, chicken thighs, avocados and shots of apple cider vinegar. 

Osundairo said he didn’t charge Smollett for the help, as the performer usually picked up the tab when they went out together.  

Those claims are in marked contrast to Smollett’s attorneys insistence that the Osundairos are homophobes and sophisticated criminals who targeted the actor.  

Abel Osundairo took the stand on Wednesday afternoon to testify how Smollett had hired him and his brother, Ola, to attack Smollett in a faked hate crime. He told the court that he visited ‘clubs, stripclubs and bathhouses’ with Smollett when they were friends, and would buy drugs for him

Osundairo, who is Nigerian, also told the court how he and Smollett, who is gay, would frequent bathhouses and strip clubs together before the beating, which Smollett denies faking. 

Abel Osundairo took the stand on Wednesday afternoon to testify how Smollett had hired him and his brother, Ola, to attack Smollett in a faked hate crime.    

Brothers Ola and Bola Osundairo told police that Smollett hired them to beat him because he felt producers of the show he starred on, Empire, didn’t do enough to protect him after he received a racist and homophobic letter on set. 

The brothers also told police that Smollett sent himself the letter for attention, according to police sources. 

On his way in to court, Abel – who has been accused of being homophobic – was calm as he breezed up the courthouse steps. 

‘I’m here to do what I’ve got to do. Not to tell my truth but to tell the truth. You don’t have to be nervous when you got the truth on your side,’ he said. 

Once he was on the stand, he told the jury that he and Smollett were friends after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance. He then said he’d brief part on Empire, standing in for one of Smollett’s love interests. 

Throughout their friendship, he testified that he and Smollett visited ‘clubs, stripclubs and a bathhouse’ together. He said the pair attended one of Smollett’s concerts, and that Smollett asked him to buy him ‘weed, cocaine and molly.’  

Jussie Smollett arrives in court with his mother Janet, sister Jurnee and other members of his family on Wednesday for the third day of the trial

Jussie Smollett arrives in court with his mother Janet, sister Jurnee and other members of his family on Wednesday for the third day of the trial 

Smollett and his mother Janet arriving at the court in Chicago on Wednesday for day three of the trial. It remains unclear i fhe will testify

Smollett and his mother Janet arriving at the court in Chicago on Wednesday for day three of the trial. It remains unclear i fhe will testify

Smollett escorted his mother into court as he has done every day since the trial began. He maintains he is innocent

Smollett escorted his mother into court as he has done every day since the trial began. He maintains he is innocent 

Smollett’s defense claims he didn’t know it was Ola and Bola who attacked him because they were in disguise and wearing masks. He maintains that he thought one of them was white, and claims the brothers are ‘sophisticated criminals’ who set the attack up after pretending to befriend him. 

On Wednesday, the third day of the trial, Chicago Police Department Detective Kimberly Murray testified that she went to the hospital to interview Smollett after the incident and noticed he had ‘minor’ injuries on his face. 

She told the court in Chicago that he couldn’t understand why the attack hadn’t been caught on surveillance cameras and was ‘upset’, that it hadn’t. 

Abel and Ola Osundairo's lawyers said on Wednesday night that they 'manned up' by telling police that Smollett paid them 

Abel and Ola Osundairo are the brothers who say Smollett paid them to attack him. They are expected to take the stand as witnesses at the trial, and to repeat their previous claim that he paid them $3500 to stage the attack

Murray is now being cross-examined by Jussie’s defense team. 

Yesterday, Chicago Detective Michael Theis told the jury of six men and six women – ten of whom are white, one of whom is black and one of whom is Hispanic – that the entire police department was determined to find who was responsible for the attack when they first believed it was a hate crime. 

‘It was horrible. It was a hate crime. The noose. 

‘The bleach. Everyone from the mayor on down wanted answers,’ Theis testified, according to CBS Chicago, which Judge James Linn allowed into the courtroom on Tuesday morning, after refusing to let most journalists inside for jury selection then limiting the number who he will allow to observe the trial because of COVID restrictions. 

Theis also testified that after the initial attack was reported to police, Smollett ‘tightened’ the rope that the brothers had put around his neck to make it more like a noose before cops arrived at his apartment.

Under cross-examination by Smollett’s attorney however, he admitted that he’d heard from another member of the Empire cast that Bola, who’d worked on set, attacked them for being gay. The police never followed it up. 

Smollett’s attorney also prompted him to reveal they had found homophobic social media posts on the brothers’ phone, where homosexual men were referred to as ‘fruits’. 

Abel Osundairo is shown arriving at court to testify on Wednesaday with his attorney. He said he was not nervous because he had 'the truth on his side'

Abel Osundairo is shown arriving at court to testify on Wednesaday with his attorney. He said he was not nervous because he had 'the truth on his side'

Abel Osundairo is shown arriving at court to testify on Wednesaday with his attorney. He said he was not nervous because he had ‘the truth on his side’ 

Jussie Smollett was sent this letter at the studio in Chicago where he filmed Empire on January 22, a week before the 'attack'. The brothers told police that he hired them because he was angry the studio didn't do more to protect him afterwards

Jussie Smollett was sent this letter at the studio in Chicago where he filmed Empire on January 22, a week before the ‘attack’. The brothers told police that he hired them because he was angry the studio didn’t do more to protect him afterwards

Jurors were shown footage of the Nigerian brothers involved in the alleged hate crime with Smollett two days before buying the supplies used in the attack

Jurors were shown footage of the Nigerian brothers involved in the alleged hate crime with Smollett two days before buying the supplies used in the attack

This is the rope purchased by the brothers to place around Smollett's neck in the days before the 'hoax' attack

This is the rope purchased by the brothers to place around Smollett’s neck in the days before the ‘hoax’ attack 

The detective on Tuesday testified that he thinks Smollett tightened the rope around his neck before police arrived to make it look more like a noose

The detective on Tuesday testified that he thinks Smollett tightened the rope around his neck before police arrived to make it look more like a noose 

They intend to argue that the pair pretended to befriend Jussie, with the intention of later attacking him for being gay.   

The jury of six men and six women (ten of whom are white, one of whom is black and one of whom is Hispanic), was shown two photos of him – one taken before cops arrived at his apartment and one taken afterwards – that suggested he’d tightened the rope for effect. 

Under cross-examination by Smollett’s attorney however, he admitted that he’d heard from another member of the Empire cast that Bola, who’d worked on set, attacked them for being gay. The police never followed it up. 

Smollett’s attorney also prompted him to reveal they had found homophobic social media posts on the brothers’ phone, where homosexual men were referred to as ‘fruits’. 

He also said that someone else that another gay cast member of Empire complained that Ola had attacked him because he is gay. 

The trial is expected to last a week.

TIMELINE OF JUSSIE SMOLLETT HOAX ATTACK SCANDAL

Jan. 22, 2019

Smollett receives a racist and homophobic threatening letter at the studio in Chicago where “Empire” is filmed. Police later say they believe Smollett sent the letter himself.

The brothers said Smollett also sent himself this letter to the Fox studio where Empire is filmed a week before the attack. If he did, he faces another 5-10 years in prison on a federal mail fraud charge 

The brothers said Smollett also sent himself this letter to the Fox studio where Empire is filmed a week before the attack. If he did, he faces another 5-10 years in prison on a federal mail fraud charge 

Police say Smollett cut his own cheek to make it look like he had suffered injuries in the attack. He is shown in a hospital bed selfie FaceTiming Lee Daniels, the show's creator, hours after the attack 

Police say Smollett cut his own cheek to make it look like he had suffered injuries in the attack. He is shown in a hospital bed selfie FaceTiming Lee Daniels, the show’s creator, hours after the attack 

Jan. 29, 2019

Jussie Smollett tells police he was attacked by two men in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m. 

The actor says the men used racist and homophobic slurs, wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an “unknown substance” on him. 

Police say Smollett, who is Black and gay, told detectives the attackers also yelled he was in “MAGA country’

Jan. 30, 2019

Chicago police say they’ve reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance camera footage, including of Smollett walking downtown, but none shows the attack. 

Police obtain and release images of two people they want to question, calling them ‘persons of interest’

Feb. 1, 2019

Smollett issues a statement saying he’s OK, that he’s working with authorities and has been ‘100 percent factual and consistent on every level.’

Feb. 2, 2019

Smollett opens a concert in West Hollywood, California, with an emotional speech, saying he had to play the show because he couldn’t let his attackers win

Police released this image of 'persons of interest' taken near the reported attack

Police released this image of ‘persons of interest’ taken near the reported attack

Feb. 13, 2019

Chicago police pick up two Nigerian brothers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after police learn at least one worked on Empire

Police question them and search their apartment 

Jussie Smollett on Good Morning America on February 14, 2019

Jussie Smollett on Good Morning America on February 14, 2019 

February 20, 2019

Smollett is charged 

Feb. 21, 2019

Chicago police say Smollett surrenders to face a felony charge of disorderly conduct, punishable by up to three years in prison.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Investigators say they have a $3,500 check that Smollett used to pay the two brothers to help him.

Chicago Police Department  Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson tore through Smollett at a press conference on Thursday where he labeled him 'shameful' and 'despicable' 

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson tore through Smollett at a press conference on Thursday where he labeled him ‘shameful’ and ‘despicable’ 

Feb. 22, 2019

Jussie Smollett is shown in his mugshot in February 2019

Jussie Smollett is shown in his mugshot in February 2019

Empire producers say Smollett’s character to be removed from the final two episodes of the season.

March 7, 2019

A Cook County grand jury returns a 16-count indictment charging Smollett with falsely reporting an offense

March 26, 2019

Smollett’s attorneys say charges alleging he lied to police have been dropped.

March 28, 2019

A city official says Chicago is seeking $130,000 from Smollett to cover the cost of the investigation into his reported beating, which police say was staged.

Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian claims on TV that the attackers could have been wearing ‘white face’ and that’s what made him describe them as light-skinned  

April 11, 2019

The city of Chicago files a lawsuit seeking to recoup the investigation costs.

Tina Glandian, one of Jussie Smollett's lawyers

Abel Osundairo is shown in a 2016 video dressed up as the Joker

Jussie Smollett’s lawyer Tina Glandian suggested on Thursday that the reason he told police his Nigerian attackers were white was because they ‘might have been wearing white face’ and had disguised themselves. Her evidence of the theory is 2016 video of Abel Osundairo (right) dressed up as the Joker 

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx  recused herself from the Smollett case

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx  recused herself from the Smollett case

April 23, 2019

The brothers who said they helped Smollett stage the attack file a defamation lawsuit against the actor’s attorneys.

Aug. 23, 2019

Judge names former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb as special prosecutor to investigate why charges against Smollett were dropped.

Feb. 11, 2020

Webb says grand jury returns six-count indictment against Smollett, accusing him of lying to police.

Feb. 24, 2020

Smollett pleads not guilty to restored charges.

Oct. 15, 2021

Judge James Linn denies a last-ditch effort to dismiss the criminal case against Smollett and sets his trial for Nov. 29.  

November 29, 2021: Jury selection begins  





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