The Jussie Smollett case resumed in Chicago today, with the actor taking to the stand to testify in his own defence.
The trial comes almost two years after police alleged that the actor lied about being the victim of a hate crime.
The former Empire actor has repeatedly denied staging an attack on himself, claiming that he was struck by two men who shouted homophobic and racist abuse at him before putting a noose around his neck and pouring bleach on him. Details of the alleged crime shocked America, with many public figures coming out in support of Smollett.
However, authorities gathered evidence that argued Smollet had paid two men to stage the attack – an accusation Smollett has denied.
Last week (29 December), a jury was sworn in to the trial, in which Smollett, 39, is charged with six counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion of making false reports to police. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Today (6 December), Smollett took to the stand. His testimony focussed on his relationship with the Osundairo brothers, Ola and Bola, who Smollett accuses of attacking him.
When asked by defence attorney Nenye Uche whether he could trust Ola, Smollett replied, “I knew, I couldn’t” (via CNN). However, he went on to say that he didn’t consider this an issue: “He wasn’t feeling me, it’s fine. Who is he to me? It’s fine.”
“He kind of creeped me out,” he told jurors. “Every time we were around him he didn’t speak to me. Every time we needed to leave, he made it seem like we needed to sneak off.”
Smollett then went on to reveal that he viewed Bola as a friend and that that pair began a sexual relationship. He also said Bola would help him get drugs, including cocaine.
Smollett testified that on one occasion on a night out, they got a private room and “did more drugs and like, made out.”
Bola, meanwhile, denied there was a relationship earlier in his testimony.
Smollett’s testimony is ongoing and will continue later today (6 December).
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