Jussie Smollett was barely an actor who sought to further his career by stating an attack that nearly ripped the nation in two. He now faces a string of charges and the case promises to offer more insight into exactly what happened three years ago when the ‘Empire’ actor set out to stage a fake hate crime and pin it on politics.
“He was charged with felony disorderly conduct after law enforcement and prosecutors said he lied to police about what happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2019, in downtown Chicago. He has pleaded not guilty. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday. Disorderly conduct, a class 4 felony, carries a sentence of up to three years in prison but experts have said it is more likely that if Smollett is convicted he would be placed on probation and perhaps ordered to perform community service.
Smollett told police he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at 2 a.m. when two men he said recognized him from the TV show “Empire” began hurling racial and homophobic slurs at him. He said the men struck him, looped a makeshift noose around his neck and shouted, “This is MAGA country,” a reference to then-President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Of course, Democrats used the attack as ‘proof’ that Trump and his supporters are all racist and used Smollett’s fake attack to target conservatives.
It didn’t take long for Chicago PD to piece together what really happened. Smollett’s alleged attackers were located and quickly turned against him. The attackers paid brothers originally from Nigeria, told police Smollett had staged the entire thing.
Now, according to Politico, two key witnesses will be the brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who say Smollett wrote them a check to stage the attack. They are expected to characterize Smollett as the star and director of an “attack” in full view of a surveillance camera that he mistakenly believed would record the whole event.
And, according to their lawyer, the brothers will also describe how Smollett drove them to the spot where the incident was to play out for a “dress rehearsal.”
“He was telling them ‘Here’s a camera, there’s a camera and here’s where you are going to run away,’” said their lawyer, Gloria Rodriguez.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.