Abimbola Osundairo: Main witness says Jussie Smollett directed 'fake' attack entirely
Jussie Smollett is facing six counts of felony disorderly conduct for lying to police and faces up to three years in jail if convicted
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: The man that Jussie Smollett is said to have paid to help him stage a hate crime took to the witness stand in the 'Empire' star's criminal trial on Wednesday, December 1. He described how he participated in the hoax because he felt "indebted" to the actor as he was helping him with his acting career.
Smollett directed nearly every aspect of the alleged fake attack, 28-year-old Abimbola Osundairo told jurors in Chicago's criminal court on day three of the hotly anticipated trial. All eyes are on Osundairo and his brother Ola as the prosecution's star witnesses in the sensational trial, after being arrested about two weeks after Smollett told police he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019. The brothers, however, told the authorities that the actor paid them $3,500 to stage the attack. Smollett, whose lawyers have denied the allegation, is facing six counts of felony disorderly conduct for lying to police and faces up to three years in jail if convicted.
“He explained that he wanted me to fake beat him up,” Osundairo testified in court. “I agreed to do it because most importantly, I felt indebted to him, to Jussie. He also got me a stand-in role on ‘Empire’ and I also believed that he could help further my acting career.” Osundairo said he met Smollett through a mutual friend in 2017 and became extremely close over the years as they spent time together smoking weed, visiting strip clubs, and having sleepovers at the actor's Streeterville high rise apartment. “I would call him my brother,” Osundairo testified, claiming Smollett would ask him to procure weed, cocaine, and molly for him.
Osundairo, who also worked on the set of 'Empire', said he received a curious text from Smollett around 9 am on January 25, 2019. He said he needed help "on the low" and whether Osundairo was available to meet up "face to face" to discuss what he had in mind. Osundairo agreed and was picked up by Smollett later that afternoon. The actor then hatched the notorious plan of which he was allegedly both the star and the director, the New York Post reported.
Smollett asked Osundairo if he "could trust" him before lamenting how the studio had responded to a piece of hate mail he claimed he received, showing a stick figure hanging and the words, "You will die black f*g." Osundairo continued, “He talked about how the studio was not taking the mail seriously, the hate mail he’d received earlier. I was confused, I looked puzzled and then he explained that he wanted me to fake beat him up.”
Smollett also roped in Osundairo's brother and explained to the brothers his vision for the stunt, right from the specific words he wanted them to use, including “‘Empire’, f—-t, n—-r, MAGA”, as well as how to throw punches at him. “He wanted me to punch him but he wanted me to pull the punch so I didn’t hurt him and then he wanted me to tussle him and throw him to the ground and give him a bruise,” he said. “Then he wanted it to look like he was fighting back, so I was supposed to give him a chance to fight back and then eventually throw him to the ground and my brother would tie the noose around his neck and pour bleach on him.”
‘Bola’ Osundairo in the courthouse pic.twitter.com/Ddsy8nDqMS— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) December 1, 2021
Smollett allegedly told the brothers not to bring their cell phones in case they dropped them and also instructed them not to use a rideshare service or cab to prevent any record that might pinpoint their location. Once news of the attack would get picked up by the media, Osundairo was asked to send Smollett a fake "condolence letter," which he did when the phony hate crime grabbed national headlines. The plans were finalized within ten minutes and a dress rehearsal was set for two days later, Osundairo told the jury.
Smollett was present at the trial, wearing a dark suit, light blue shirt, and burgundy tie. According to The Post, he "furrowed his brow" as he watched Osundairo testify about the alleged rehearsal. The witness, who sported a black turtleneck, a gold chain, and a matching black and gold face covering, hardly flinched as he gave more than four hours of testimony.
Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo, one of the brothers connected to the alleged staged hate crime involving Jussie Smollett, and his attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez walk through the Leighton Criminal Courthouse Wednesday in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/VJEgWEJvar— armando l sanchez (@mandophotos) December 1, 2021
Smollett picked the two brothers up on Sunday, January 27 — the day before the attack was slated to take place — and brought them to his neighborhood where he explained where and how he wanted the alleged hoax attack to go down, per Osundairo's testimony. “He said that there was going to be a camera to capture the fake attack, that he wanted a camera to capture the fake attack,” the witness said. When asked why Smollett wanted the attack captured, Osundairo testified that the actor “wanted to use the camera footage for media.” The plan was finally executed around 2 am on January 29, 2019. Everything went smoothly — the brothers delivered their lines, roughed Smollett up, and fled the scene — but the camera Smollett hoped would capture the attack was pointed in another direction. Osundairo and his brother were arrested a little over a fortnight after the incident.
Smollett "wore a frown" as he exited the court Wednesday evening, on December 1, according to The Post. He was flanked by supporters but did not respond to questions asking what he thought about Osundairo's testimony. His defense team is scheduled to commence cross-examinations on Thursday morning, December 2.