Jussie Smollett convicted of staging attack, lying to police

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was convicted Thursday on five of six charges he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself nearly three years ago and then lied to Chicago police about it.

News 12 Staff

Dec 9, 2021, 11:32 PM

Updated 958 days ago

Share:

Jussie Smollett convicted of staging attack, lying to police
Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was convicted Thursday on five of six charges he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself nearly three years ago and then lied to Chicago police about it.
He was acquitted on one count.
The verdict came after a roughly one-week trial in which two brothers testified that Smollett recruited them to fake an attack on him near his home in downtown Chicago in January 2019. Smollett repeatedly denied the claims. The brothers said Smollett orchestrated the hoax, telling them to put a noose around his neck and rough him up in view of a surveillance camera, and that he said he wanted video of the hoax made public via social media.
Smollett called the brothers “liars” and said their account was “100% false. He testified over two days about being the victim of what he said was a hate crime, telling the jury ”there was no hoax.”
Abimbola Osundairo, who worked with Smollett on the Chicago set of “Empire,” and his brother, Olabingo Osundairo, also testified that Smollett paid them $3,500 for faking the attack. Smollett said the money was for meal and workout plans that Abimbola Osundairo was providing so the actor could be more toned for upcoming performances.
The Jan. 29 assault was reported to police, prompting a massive investigation that a lead detective said included some two dozen officers and 3,000 staff hours. The investigation — which included video from surveillance cameras, GPS and taxi and rideshare records — led police to the Osundairo brothers, who told detectives Smollett had staged the alleged hate crime.
Smollett’s defense attorneys argued that the brothers attacked the actor — who is gay and Black — because they were homophobic and didn’t like “who he was.” They also alleged the brothers made up the story about the attack being staged to get money from Smollett, and that they told him they wouldn’t testify against him if he paid them each $1 million.
The class 4 felony carries a prison sentence of up to three years, but experts have said Smollett would likely be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.


More from News 12
0:55
Police: 1 hospitalized in afternoon Mount Vernon shooting

Police: 1 hospitalized in afternoon Mount Vernon shooting

2:06
Thursday brings another unsettled weather day, but better forecast follows

Thursday brings another unsettled weather day, but better forecast follows

Biden delivers solemn call to defend democracy as he lays out his reasons for quitting race

Biden delivers solemn call to defend democracy as he lays out his reasons for quitting race

1:42
North Rockland man to compete in Olympic Games, representing Ireland in shot put

North Rockland man to compete in Olympic Games, representing Ireland in shot put

1:43
Poughkeepsie residents fight to keep adult shelter out of neighborhood

Poughkeepsie residents fight to keep adult shelter out of neighborhood

1:36
Greenburgh to fix one of its worst intersections

Greenburgh to fix one of its worst intersections

1:23
Officials criticize Social Security Administration for sudden closure of Newburgh offices

Officials criticize Social Security Administration for sudden closure of Newburgh offices

0:58
2 Croton-on-Hudson housing proposals draw ire from some residents

2 Croton-on-Hudson housing proposals draw ire from some residents

0:30
Residents question water tower repairs in Unionville after county violation notice

Residents question water tower repairs in Unionville after county violation notice

0:22
North Salem School Board places superintendent on administrative leave

North Salem School Board places superintendent on administrative leave

0:28
Wallkill man arrested for DWI, drug possession in Ulster County

Wallkill man arrested for DWI, drug possession in Ulster County

0:37
$5,000 reward offered for information on suspect in fatal shooting

$5,000 reward offered for information on suspect in fatal shooting

1:05
Headlines: Cocaine sentencing in Port Jervis, barn fire death, cause of plane crash released

Headlines: Cocaine sentencing in Port Jervis, barn fire death, cause of plane crash released

4:23
Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

1:49
Mamaroneck tackles chronic flooding with new study and projects

Mamaroneck tackles chronic flooding with new study and projects

0:28
Susan Siegel projected winner in Yorktown council election

Susan Siegel projected winner in Yorktown council election

0:26
Woman stabbed in Yonkers domestic dispute, suspect arrested

Woman stabbed in Yonkers domestic dispute, suspect arrested

0:17
20-story mural completes transformation of downtown New Rochelle

20-story mural completes transformation of downtown New Rochelle

0:14
LEGOLAND New York seeks master model builder in 'Brick Factor Model Builder' competition

LEGOLAND New York seeks master model builder in 'Brick Factor Model Builder' competition

1:22
How are young Hudson Valley voters feeling about the possibility of Kamala Harris as the Democratic nominee for president?

How are young Hudson Valley voters feeling about the possibility of Kamala Harris as the Democratic nominee for president?