Jussie Mollett devised a secret plan to invent a hate crime against him, according to the court hearings on the first day of his trial.
Police interviewed Mr Smollett (39) who said that in January 2019, he had been attacked by two men shouting pro Trump slogans. They also tied a noose around the neck of his victim.
His defense lawyers said that their client was a “real victim”.
Smollett denies any wrongdoing. On Monday, fifteen jurors were selected to hear the case.
Authorities allege that Mr Smollett paid two Nigerian-born brothers $3,500 (£2,630) to carry out the attack to promote his career because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on the TV show Empire, which is about a hip hop dynasty.
According to Mr Smollett, the payment was made for the brother who would work as a personal coach.
An Illinois special prosecutor last year indicted the actor on six counts for lying to police.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb claimed that Trump’s actor “had a covert plan” to create the appearance that a hate crime was committed against him.
- The drama surrounding Jussie Mollett
According to the Chicago Tribune, he claimed that he had conducted a dress rehearsal with his brothers and instructed them to shout homophobic and racist slurs at each other.
Webb stated that he told them to “use a rope to make the crime look like a hate offense.”
Two brothers, Olabinjo Osundairo Olabinjo Osundairo (accused of the attack) are expected to testify. Empire had employed both men as extras.
Nenye Uche was Mr Smollett’s lawyer and he denied all the arguments of the prosecutor, stating that his client is “a real victim” to a “real offense”, according to AP News.
The lawyer for Mr Smollett argued in court that the brothers had attacked actor Actor because they didn’t like him. A third attacker may also have been involved, he suggested.
The court was attended by many supporters as Mr Smollett was wearing a mask of black on his face and arrived with them.
His disorderly conduct and other charges were dropped after an emergency court appearance. Chicago police officers and the mayor of Chicago were quick to complain that courts let Mr Smollett go “off without a trace”.
Webb later was given the task of investigating how the case had been handled. His office provided “sufficient facts evidence” to support the conclusion that the case shouldn’t have been dismissed.
Webb stated that prosecuting this case was in the interests of justice, partly because of the extensive nature of Smollett’s false police reports and the amount of resources Chicago police used to investigate.
Smollett can be sent to prison for up to 3 years if he’s convicted. Legal experts believe that a probation or lighter sentence is likely because of the lack of prior convictions for Mr Smollett.
The trial is set to take place over the next week. It’s not known if Mr. Smollett will be present.
Since authorities cast doubts on his claims Mr. Smollett has maintained his innocence.
In an Instagram live interview, Marc Lamont Hill (US author) said last year that the past two years have been “beyond frustrating”.
“They won’t let this go…there is an example being made,” he said. The sad thing is that it’s an example of someone who didn’t do the things they are being accused of.”
Kamala Harris, the US Vice President of the United States had described the purported hate crime as “an attempt modern-day lynching”.
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