USA: two Nigerians cited in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett

Two Nigerians are summoned to appear in the highly publicized trial of American actor Jussie Smollett, accused of inventing a racist and homophobic assault in 2019 in Chicago. According to prosecutor Dan Webb, the two brothers had to fake an attack because he believed the TV studio did not take hate mail against him seriously.

African-American homosexual actor, fallen star of the television series “Empire”, pleads not guilty to the allegations that he “planned and participated” to the assault he claims to have been the victim of. He would also have made false statements to the police.

On january 2019, he had assured to have been attack in a city street by two supporters of President Donald Trump, who would have uttered racist insults and homophobic. The case had provoked a wave of indignation in a country still strongly marked by racial discrimination and sexual.

General interest work

The investigation quickly concluded in a staging of Jussie Smollett, 39 years old, who would have paid $ 3,500 to two Nigerian brothers to pretend to attack him, in an effort to advance his career and gain more cachet in the TV series.

The affair had known a new twist in March 2019 when county prosecutors dropped all charges against him, in exchange for 10 000 dollars and of two days of community service.

Accused

The mairie de Chicago then decided to take him to civil proceedings to reimburse the costs related to the police investigation, amounting to $ 130,000. And he had been again indicted in February 2020 for his assumed role in aggression.

According to the defense lawyer, Give Thoughts, a the two brothers had attacked Jussie Smollett because they did not like him. The check for 3,500 dollars paid by Jussie Smollet was remuneration for a a physical training for a clip. And the lawyer added that a third assailant was involved, telling jurors there was no physical or forensic evidence linking Jussie Smollett to the alleged crime.

Threat letter

Prosecutor Dan Webb said Jussie Smollett was unhappy with the studio’s handling of a threat letter containing a drawing of a man hanging from a tree, with the initials “MAGA,” a reference to the campaign slogan of Donald Trump “Make America Great Again”.

The actor would thus “designed this fake crime”, organizing a “general repetition” with the two brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, telling them to use racial and homophobic slurs and “ITSELF”. Jussie Smollett also allegedly gave them a $ 100 ticket to buy ski masks, red hats and “a rope to make it look like a hate crime”

The attack was to be recorded on a surveillance video, but the camera was pointed in the wrong direction. The initial plan was that the Nigerians spray Jussie Smollett with gasoline, before switching to detergent.

Payment by check

The lawyer for the brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, said in February 2020 that her clients were “honest, open and remorseful about their conduct in this matter”. And to add that they “have been telling the truth from day one, they will continue to do so and cooperate”, ensuring that they did not have “nothing” obtained in exchange.

Defense Nenye Uche for his part portrayed the brothers as “unreliable”, arguing from their changing versions unlike that of the actor. During a search of their house, the police had found heroin and weapons, he was to point out.

He also said that the evidence “will show enormous eagerness to judge on the part of various police officers”, and that the Payment by check of a false attack has no sense.“They want you to believe that Jussie Smollett was stupid enough to pay for a hoax with a check, but smart enough to pay (the supplies) with a $ 100 bill.”

Presence of a white man

Nenye Uche’s suggestion of the involvement of a third assailant would be supported by the statement of a local resident on the presence of a white man of “reddish brown hair” who seemed to be expecting someone that night. She had stated that when the man turned away from her, she “could see what appeared to be a rope hanging from under his jacket”.

His comments would thus support Jussie Smollett’s claims that his attackers gave him a rope around the neck. Also, if she did state that the man was white, it would confirm the actor’s statements – widely ridiculed because the brothers, from Nigeria, are black – that he had made out a white skin around the eyes of one of his masked attackers.

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