The criminal trial is set to begin on Monday in the alleged hate crime hoax case of actor Jussie Smollett. The trial comes three years after the January 2019 incident, in which Smollett claimed to have been attacked by racist, Trump supporters in Chicago.
It was later discovered that the men who attacked Smollett were associates of the actor. After Chicago police investigated the crime for two weeks, they came to the opinion that it had been staged.
The two men who attacked Smollett, brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundario, said that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to attack him and put a noose around his neck. The brothers are black, as is Smollett.
It was reported a few months after the attack that Smollett had engaged in sexual activity with one of his alleged attackers at a Chicago bathhouse. An insider reported in April 2020 that Smollett and Abimbola, known as Abel, "used to party together and he had a sexual relationship with [Abel]. They went to this affluent Chicago bathhouse multiple times and they had to show ID. It’s known as a bathhouse where a lot of affluent black gay men hang out. There should be a record [of their visits]."
Smollett's alleged attack made national news, and upheld the Democrat narrative that Trump supporters are racist, homophobic, and all manner of other noxious things.
Democrat politicians were quick to back Smollett's version of events, and use the incident to back up their own narrative of US politics under the Trump administration. The assumption was that this attack was representative of everything wrong with the country under Trump.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez instantly assumed that the attack for which Smollett was admitted to the hospital was legitimate and carried out by racist anti-gay persons. Her take was that this was a hate crime.
Kamala Harris, then a senator seeking to run for the US presidency, tweeted out her support for Smollett, calling the allegedly staged attack a "modern day lynching."
California Rep. Maxine Waters, who called for violence against Trump administration officials, also claimed that Smollett was attacked by homophobic people.
Kristen Clarke, who serves as Biden's Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the US Department of Justice, also backed Smollett's claim, and slammed the Chicago police for investigating Smollett as well. "This is not how you treat survivors of hate crime," she said.
The Osundario brothers are expected to take the stand in the trial and give the court the same account they gave police, which is that they attacked Smollett at Smollett's instruction.
The attack was staged to look like it had been carried out by racist Trump supporters, and there is surveillance footage of the brothers buying red hats, ski masks, and gloves.
Smollett's attorneys are expected to claim that the attack was real, and that the fee of $3,500 was paid by Smollett to the Osundario brothers for personal training sessions. In addition to Smollett's statements to police, the brothers' credibility will be on trial.
Smollett faces six felony country for disorderly conduct for having allegedly made false statements to police. The class 4 felony could bring sentencing of up to three years in prison if Smollett is convicted.
Smollett's defense team petitioned to have the charges dropped, but that request was denied by Judge James Linn. Charges against Smollett were initially dropped in March 2019, but special prosecutor Dan Webb was brought on to the case, and in February 2020, the six new counts were filed against the actor.
The incident essentially ruined Smollett's acting career, as he was then written out of the show Empire. Since then, Smollett has been working on his own projects. Smollett produced his film B-Boy Blues with his own SuperMassive Movies.