Former ?Empire? actor Jussie Smollett hit out at the prosecutor at his trial for ordering him to answer strict ?yes? or ?no? questions including the ?n-word? on the witness stand, insisting it was disrespectful even in quotes.
Former 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett hit out at the prosecutor at his trial for ordering him to answer strict "yes" or "no" questions including the 'n-word' on the witness stand, insisting it was disrespectful even in quotes.
Smollett, on trial for allegedly faking a hate crime in 2019, denounced special prosecutor Daniel Webb while being questioned on Tuesday, ordering the white attorney to stop reading his own text messages - which included the n-word - "out of respect for every African American person in the room."
The texts, reportedly written by Smollett to the Osundairo brothers - the Nigerian men he allegedly hired to fake the late-night attack against himself - included multiple instances of the word. By the time Smollett had convinced Webb to stop reading messages including the offending term, however, Smollett suggested it was too late.
"Apology accepted, but [the word's] been used a lot," he sneered. The messages were sent via Instagram to Abimbola Osundairo and appeared to be updating him on the delay on his flight to Chicago.
Despite his complaints, Smollett was ultimately ordered to respond by the judge. He also admitted to changing his description of the brothers from "white" to "pale," claiming it was the "responsible" thing to do since he couldn't be sure in the dark what color their skin actually was.
The 'Empire' actor admitted to paying Abimbola Osundairo $3500 - but insisted the money was for "nutritional plans and exercise guidance" rather than staging a fake attack.
He also dismissed the accusation by police that he and the brothers carried out a "dry run," rehearsal of the attack a few days prior, saying the trio were just "getting stoned."
Smollett has claimed the brothers attacked him on his way home from a Subway sandwich shop and almost "lynched" him. He claimed they yelled a Donald Trump campaign slogan and hurled other racist and homophobic epithets at him.
It emerged during his testimony that CNN anchor Don Lemon had attempted to warn him that the Chicago Police Department was looking into the case, having unearthed doubts about Smollett's version of the events of that evening.
The defense rested its case as of Tuesday. If convicted, Smollett faces three years in prison, though most sources suggest he will merely receive probation.