Jussie Smollett’s alleged attacker masturbated him at gay bathhouse, lawyer claims
Jussie Smollett’s defence has argued at trial that the man the actor says attacked him was a former lover who masturbated with him in a gay bathhouse.
Smollett is on trial for allegedly staging a hate crime hoax against himself, and has been charged with six felony disorderly conduct charges.
On Thursday (2 December), his defense questioned the prosecution’s star witnesses, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, brothers who had worked on Empire as extras, and who Smollett says attacked him.
Abimbola, 28, was cross-examined by Jussie Smollett’s defense attorney, Shay Allen, for two hours, according to the New York Post.
Allen alleged that the brothers told Smollett they would not testify that they staged the attack in exchange for $1 million, and said that Abimbola had “dated” the actor.
When Allen asked the Empire extra when the pair had started dating, he responded: “What? We were never dating.”
The day before, while being questioned by the prosecution, Abimbola told the court that he and Smollett had visited a gay bathhouse together, Steamworks, in Chicago’s gay neighborhood Boystown.
Allen asked him on Thursday if gay porn had been played on TVs at the bathhouse, but Abimbola said he “didn’t recall”.
He continued: “You don’t recall seeing gay pornography?… You don’t remember masturbating with him?” Abimbola responded: “No.”
After suggesting that he had dated Jussie Smollett, Allen changed tack and insinuated that Abimbola was homophobic, pointing to the brothers’ links to Nigeria, where being gay is criminalized.
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