Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett took the stand in his criminal trial Monday in a high-stakes attempt to rebut charges that he staged a fake hate crime and lied to Chicago Police about it in January 2019.
Last week, brothers "Bola" and "Ola" Osundairo testified that Smollett, who is Black and gay, directed and paid them to carry out a sham anti-gay and racist attack in order to garner sympathetic media coverage. Their testimony, as well as that of five Chicago police investigators, formed the core of the prosecution's case against Smollett.
But under oath Monday, Smollett offered testimony over five hours in which he denied orchestrating the attack and suggested the brothers -- whom he knew from the "Empire" set -- may have had other motivations at play.
The day finished with the actor still on the stand and court scheduled to resume Tuesday morning with special prosecutor Dan Webb picking up his cross-examination.
Smollett on Monday said Bola Osundairo, who he called "Bon," helped him get drugs, including cocaine. He also said a sexual relationship began to forge between the two at a particular Chicago bath house. One night the two were out, and Smollett testified they got a private room and "did more drugs and like, made out."
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