'Serial Liar': Jussie Smollett Accused of Lying Under Oath as Jury Ends First Day of Deliberations

© AFP 2022 / SCOTT OLSONFormer "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building as the jury begins deliberation during his trial on December 8, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building as the jury begins deliberation during his trial on December 8, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
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During closing statements, the prosecutors blasted the former "Empire" actor as a "serial liar" who claimed his alleged attackers were white to give the staged assault "more credibility," while his defense claimed he was being framed by "sophisticated liars and criminals."
Despite lengthy deliberations, the Chicago jury could not rule on Wednesday whether actor Jussie Smollett, 39, was guilty of orchestrating a hate crime attack in downtown Chicago in January 2019 to gain clout.
The jury is set to return to their work on Thursday to continue deliberations at 9:15 am local time.
Smollett is charged with six felonies for allegedly creating a bogus hate crime and falsely reporting it to the police. He could be sentenced to three years in prison.
On the final day of the statements, special prosecutor Dan Webb said that Smollett developed a complex scheme for faking the attack with the help of Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo because he "wanted to get the media exposure."
"Smollett has had this theory, if I said it’s whites who did this, it makes it more real. Because if whites had attacked an African American, gay gentleman, it’d make it have more credibility,” Webb said before the jury.
Prosecutor Webb accused Smollett of continually lying to the jury about not planning the attack and mocked his claim that he was out "looking for eggs" the night of the fake incident.

"Mr. Smollett basically developed a secret plan in January of 2019 to carry out a fake hate crime that he planned out and recruited two other people, the Osundairo brothers," the prosecutor said. "And it was planned to make it appear to be a hate crime carried out by whites."

According to the prosecutor, the police were forced to "spend an enormous amount of time taking it very seriously" to find out that "it was, in fact, a fake hate crime."
Smollett, an openly gay man, said in his testimony that he was heading home when he was confronted by two unknown assailants who he initially described as white before changing his account to say they were "pale," as he indicated on Tuesday because it was the "right thing to do."
Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Court Building after his trial on disorderly conduct charges on December 7 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2021
Smollett Becomes Aggressive During Trial When Cornered by Texts With Alleged Attacker - Report
During the trial, Webb presented six crucial pieces of evidence that he said revealed the actor plotted the phony incident with the help of the Osundairo brothers, whom Smollett knows from the show. The prosecutor stressed that Smollett is exactly "the person who orchestrated it, who instructed them on what to do."
"He was hoping the Osundairo brothers would not cooperate with the police," Webb added. "He got exposed, and now we're in a trial. That's what happened."

Six Discrepancies That Cost Smollett Favorability

In general, Webb accused Smollett of lying on the stand, focusing on six particular points that he claimed demonstrated Smollett's guilt, contrasting his testimony with what the prosecution said happened.
Smollett's choice to withhold cell phone, medical, and DNA evidence from the authorities was the first concern, as the actor reportedly "didn't want the crime solved," or the siblings arrested.
Smollett also reportedly hid his medical documents because he "did not want the police to know he wasn't injured that much," which the prosecutor highlighted as the fifth inconsistency later.
The second important piece of evidence that Webb highlighted was Smollett's accusation that he lied to the police about the attackers' color. While the Osundairo brothers are Black, Smollett insisted that instead of telling the police initially that the perpetrators were white, he was not really sure and believed he initially described them as "pale."

"He not only told you [jurors] he assumed they were white, he told the police that," Webb emphasized to the jury. "He wants police to be looking for someone white."

Smollett messing with a rope that had been fashioned into a noose that the attackers reportedly put around his neck was the third point Webb remarked on. Smollett "monkeyed around" with the rope before the police arrived on the scene, he claimed.
The actor testified that he removed the rope after the attack but put it back on when police arrived. But Webb pointed out that during an interview in 2019 Smollett claimed the rope was on his neck the whole time.
Actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for day two of his trial in Chicago. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.12.2021
Jussie Smollett Was Reportedly Caught on Video Rehearsing Alleged Attack, Prosecutors Claim
The prosecutor stressed the fourth point: the Osundairo brothers could not have attacked Smollett without prior knowledge. The alleged attack happened at 2 am outside Smollett's apartment amid a winter vortex, after he went to Walgreens for eggs and ended up at Subway.
And the final aspect of the evidence that Webb emphasized to jurors was a February 2019 police interview and a text to Bola Osundairo, which Smollett wrote weeks after the alleged hate crime. Smollett reportedly did not sign the criminal papers alleging the Osundairo brothers committed the purported crime and sent a text message to Bola later, which read, "Brother I love you, I stand with you, I know you did nothing wrong."

Defense Playing 'Intelligent Criminals' False Statements' Card

In his turn, Nenye Uche, a defense lawyer, described the Osundairo brothers as intelligent criminals who were solely wanting the money and fame of a well-known celebrity.
"They lied to this court, they lied to this jury," Uche said. "They're criminals. They're the worst type of criminals."
The defense's primary strategy throughout the trial was reportedly to combat the claim by prosecutors that a $3,500 check was offered as payment for fabricating the phony attack. Smollett also paid his publicist Pamela Sharp $3,500, according to Uche, who added that it was common for celebrities to pay huge sums of money for services.
Apart from that, the defense lawyer asked the jury not to believe most of the Osundairo brothers' testimony, and especially the part which implicated Smollett as having planned the attack in advance.
According to the reports from the trial, Uche said Smollett grew to appreciate Chicago and was not someone who would do what the prosecutors said.
"To go into Obama's city to pretend there are Trump supporters running around with MAGA hats? Give me a break," the lawyer noted.
Regardless of the outcome of the case, Smollett's acting career was effectively ruined as a result of the incident. His character was written off "Empire," which ended in 2020, and he has not been on screen since, despite directing and producing a picture.
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