Jurors in Jussie Smollett’s trial on Wednesday December 8, began deliberating over whether he staged a race-hate attack on himself and then lied to cops about being the victim.
While the Empire star has repeatedly denied that he orchestrated the alleged crime, in which he claimed two men yelled anti-gay, racist remarks and struck him in downtown Chicago in January 2019, 12-person jury who have listened to a week-long testimony, including from the actor, will be deciding his fate.
The jury who deliberated for about two and a half hours on Wednesday before taking a break around 5 p.m. local time because one of them needed to attend a child’s Christmas concert, have only asked one question so far.
They requested to see a calendar the prosecution presented during the trial that showed each day a hoax-related event occurred. The judge said he’d address the question on Thursday morning when deliberations resume by 9:15 a.m.
Though Smollett has described claims of him paying two brothers, Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo, $3,500 to carry out the fake attack as “100% false” and also narrated how he tussled with his two unknown assailants near his apartment, the Osundairo brothers testified earlier that Smollett came up with the idea for the bogus attack and that he gave them $100 to buy supplies, including a rope to tie a noose around his neck, and directed them to yell racial and gay slurs and “MAGA.” Prosecutors have said the actor planned the ruse to get attention.
When asked about the Osundairos’ testimony, Smollett who is openly gay and claimed he had a sexual relationship with one of the siblings, insisted that the brothers were “liars.”