Jussie Smollett trial: ‘Empire’ actor takes stand in alleged fake Streeterville attack – ABC7 Chicago
The courtroom was at capacity Monday in anticipation of the former “Empire” actor giving his account on the witness stand.
Smollett, who is one of six children in his family, testified about growing up doing commercials as a child actor. He said at 8-years-old, his family moved to Los Angelas where he eventually focused on music.
He also described how as a young adult he would often take the bus to work as a waiter, in retail and also as a clown. Smollett said he would also live in Eurpoe for months at a time while trying to work in clubs as a musician, “and kept on trying.”
The former “Empire” actor was then questioned about his time on the show, where he was said to be making $100,000 per episode before he was fired.
He told the jurors that he met Bola Osundairo through a security contact and then they became friends. He testified that they would do drugs and go out together, including to a gay bathhouse.
Before the actor took the stand, his defense team called a security guard to testify first.
The state’s two star witnesses in the Jussie Smollett trial both took the stand Thursday. Brothers Bola and Ola Osundairo faced tough questioning from both sides, but especially from defense council trying to discredit their assertion Smollett enlisted them to stage a hate crime attack on him.
Defense attorney Shay Allen asked Osundairo if he sold Smollett drugs and about guns found in Osundairo’s home when police searched it. Osundairo said he got drugs for Smollett when the actor asked him to but added, “I’m not a drug dealer, I don’t sell.”
Allen also questioned the motivation behind Osundairo’s interactions with Smollett, suggesting they were dating, that Smollett wanted Osundairo to get him supplements that are illegal in the U.S., and that the aspiring actor – who worked as a stand-in on “Empire” – wanted a high-paid job as Smollett’s security.
Allen also suggested Smollett wasn’t involved in plotting the alleged attack, and that the brothers acted on their own.