(Video Credit: CBS Chicago)
Former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett testified for the second day in a row on Tuesday, facing intense cross-examination for about two-and-a-half hours by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, who at one point incensed the actor by reading out loud private Instagram messages using the N-word.
Smollett vehemently denied staging a hoax over and over again using the Osundairo brothers for a “dry run” of his allegedly staged attack two days before it took place. The brothers have previously testified that he paid them to help pull off the concocted hoax in 2019.
Webb grilled Smollett on the incident pushing him to deny that he picked up Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo in his car and then drove them around the area where he intended for the attack to take place.
The prosecutor posited that Smollett instructed the brothers on what to purchase and what to say. He then reportedly paid them $3,500 for acting out the hoax. Smollett continued to deny that the hoax was pre-planned and staged with the brothers. He asserts they were driving around getting high after canceling a workout, Fox News reported.
Smollett was caught on surveillance video driving the brothers around the area three times that day. The actor asserted that the area they were cruising was located right across from the garage to his apartment building. He also claimed that at the time he was alleged to be planning the attack, he was instead texting about a potential interview with MSNBC.
During the trial, Smollett snapped at Webb constantly, accusing him of unfairly presenting evidence and not understanding Instagram.
“Mr. Webb, with all due respect, you do not understand Instagram,” Smollett spit at the prosecutor.
“You’re misrepresenting me to the jury and to the entire court, and it’s not fair. Without showing the actual Insta stories that I posted, they’re not getting the full story so they don’t understand,” he stated, according to the New York Post.
Webb clapped back, “Look at me. I’m older. I tell you right now I do not understand Instagram. … I’m asking you if the messages I’m about to show you are between Bola and you.”
Cook County Judge James Linn scolded Smollett, “Just answer his questions without arguing.”
Smollett doubled down asserting his messages were not about a “fake attack.”
“There was no fake attack. … There was an update to my over 5 million followers,” he remarked.
LEO TERRELL on Smollett's trial: "You are watching Jussie Smollett's last acting performance. The only person who believes Jussie Smollett is Jussie Smollett. He has no credibility." pic.twitter.com/LqTAaWSjg7
— Martin Golobič (@martingolobich) December 7, 2021
When the prosecutor read aloud the Instagram messages that contained the N-word, the actor reportedly snapped over it. Smollett cut in on the prosecutor and demanded that he spell or abbreviate the word so he wouldn’t offend “every African American in this room.” The messages entailed where Smollett was at the time and flight delay information on the night of the attack. The evidence was intended to prove that Smollett was working with Bola Osundairo to go over the timing of the attack.
Webb responded by telling Smollett he was welcome to read his own messages to the court. He refused to censor the quotations of the actor’s messages. Smollett agreed and the trial continued.
Smollett interrupts special prosecutor Dan Webb as Webb was reading aloud one of Smollett's messages that had N word in it.
Smollett: can you spell or say the N word out of respect for every African American in this room? you've been saying that word a lot.
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) December 7, 2021
The combative cross-examination wrapped up with a discussion concerning the night of the alleged attack. Smollett called Bola Osundairo a liar. The brother’s testimony claimed that the actor told him to attack Smollett at 2 a.m. that night. The actor called that a “bold-faced lie.” Smollett says that he went out that night to buy eggs at Walgreens which he thought was open 24/7. When he realized it wasn’t, he stopped to buy a Subway sandwich. He still asserts that he was attacked on the way home by two “pale-skinned” attackers that he can’t identify.
Smollett has testified that he assumed his attackers were white because they used the phrase “MAGA” and the N-word. Webb bluntly suggested the actor weaponized race during the alleged publicity stunt.
“Did you think by saying that the people that attacked you were white, it would lend credibility to a fake hate crime?” Webb asked Smollett, according to The Daily Beast.
Smollett snapped, “You’d have to ask someone that did a fake hate crime.”
Closing arguments are set to take place on Wednesday.
BREAKING: Jussie Smollett Jury to begin deliberations tomorrow in his felony case
If found guilty of making false police reports he faces up to 3 years behind bars
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 8, 2021
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