Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett became visibly irritated and testy with prosecution during his cross-examination Tuesday, leading Cook County Judge James Linn to admonish the actor for his behavior.
During cross, Special Prosecutor Dan Webb sparked emotion from Smollett when he questioned him about private messages sent between the actor and Abimbola “Bola” Osundairo.
Smollett wrote in one exchange to Osundairo at around 12:41 a.m. on the day of the alleged attack, “N***a finally made it just landed haha.”
“Was that 20 minutes to one?” Webb asked the actor.
“A smirking Smollett leaned forward and corrected him mockingly, replying, ‘Yes, 19 minutes to one,'” the New York Post reported. “Getting hammered over the Instagram messages, the actor seethed, ‘Mr. Webb, with all due respect, you do not understand Instagram.'”
According to the report, “Smollett insisted that the prosecution was incorrectly portraying the conversation by not explaining that he’d also publicly lamented his long-delayed flight in a series of public posts to his Instagram story.”
“You’re misrepresenting me to the jury and to the entire court, and it’s not fair,” he told Webb. “Without showing the actual Insta stories that I posted, they’re not getting the full story so they don’t understand.”
“Look at me. I’m older,” the prosecutor said. “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.”
“Just answer his questions without arguing,” Judge Linn interjected, chiding Smollett.
“There was no fake attack,” the angered actor insisted. “There was an update to my over 5 million followers.”
“It’s difficult to answer yes and no when little bits are thrown in there that aren’t true … when some things are true, and some aren’t, it’s hard to say yes or no,” Smollett later slammed prosecution.
The 39-year-old is facing up to three years in jail for allegedly lying to police. Back in January 2019, Smollett claimed he was targeted and attacked by apparent supporters of President Donald Trump in an anti-gay, anti-black hate crime. His alleged attackers, whom he initially described as white males who yelled “This is MAGA country,” were brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo. They are both black men who knew Smollett before the attack and claim the actor orchestrated the “hoax.” The actor contends he is a real vicim.
As noted by The Daily Wire, Smollett has conceded that he knows both brothers, one of whom he claims he did hard drugs with and shared a private room in a bathhouse with:
According to Smollett’s testimony, he was training with Bola Osundairo primarily because “Empire” creator Lee Daniels had told him that he was fat and because he wanted to lose weight for a music video. He also claimed that he and Bola had a more personal relationship, saying that the first night they met they had done weed and cocaine together and gone to a private room in a bathhouse.
Osundairo said last week, under oath, that he had never had a sexual relationship with Smollett. He also told the court that Smollett had orchestrated the entire attack, saying that Smollett had told them what to say and where they should be, even taking them out to show them the location and the camera he hoped would capture the attack, using the code word “training” to describe what appeared to be a dry run.
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