The trial for Jussie Smollett began Monday, November 29th, 2021. While many reading this article may not know who he is, the name might sound familiar. Jussie Smollett was a gay black man on a Fox television show called Empire. His sister, Jurnee Smollett, is a popular performer and has been in television since she was a small child, such as sassy Denise Frazer on Full House, and Hanging With Mr. Cooper.
Why does that matter? Well, according to the prosecution against Jussie Smollett, the entire point of him filing false claims of bigotry and racism was for the publicity.
Back in January 2019, Jussie Smollett claimed to receive a threatening letter that police later determined was written himself to gain attention. When the letter didn’t get enough attention, Jussie claimed he was physically attacked by white men wearing MAGA hats. He claimed they threw bleach on him and tied a noose around his neck.
Below is a video of Dave Chappelle doing us all a favor and explaining what happened that night.
Shortly after the outrage of Hollywood and politicians alike, the police quickly discovered the two men who attacked Jussie Smollett were neither white, or even conservatives. In fact, both of these men were Nigerian. Jussie even helped one of them get a role on the show “Empire”.
During his testimony today, Abimbola Osundairo stated that he felt obligated to help Smollett with his hoax because the actor promised Osundairo more roles in the future.
Abimbola said he agreed to the plan because he felt indebted to Smollett for getting him the stand-in role on "Empire," and he knew Smollett could help him further his acting career
— Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) December 1, 2021
There seems to be plenty of evidence against Smollett. Both brothers have offered detailed text messages to corroborate their version on how everything went down. And yet, Smollett still insists on his innocence.
“…on Sept. 10, Smollett maintained his innocence and called his legal troubles ‘frustrating’. Smollett also said in the interview that he believed law enforcement and the media were ‘trying to sell’ an agenda by highlighting only certain aspects of the case to paint the picture of a guilty man.
“When I step back, I can see the way they served the narrative to the people: That it was intentionally created to make people doubt from the very, very beginning. But at the same time, I’m not really living for the people that don’t believe.”
Jussie Smollett is being charged with six counts of disorderly conduct charges, a Class 4 felony.
“Count 1 accuses him of telling responding Chicago Police Officer Muhammed Baig at around 2:45 a.m., some 45 minutes after the purported attack, that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said two attackers put a rope around his neck. Count 2 refers to Smollett telling the same officer he was a victim of a battery, describing attackers beating and pouring bleach on him.
“Counts 3 and 4 are when Smollett made the same claims but to a different officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning, at just before 6 a.m.
“Count 5 accuses Smollett of again telling Murray at around 7:15 p.m. that he was the victim of a battery. Count 6 refers to Smollett reporting on Feb. 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery.”
If convicted, it is possible Smollett could serve up to 3 years in jail per conviction, but this outcome is unlikely. Smollett has no prior criminal history, and a Class 4 felony in Illinois is considered not as severe. While some believe the judge may try to make an example of Smollett, given the international attention of the case and the amount of money spent on investigating the “attack”, it is just as likely the judge will recommend further community service and probation.