Coverage for this event has ended.
During opening statements, the special prosecutor, Dan Webb, repeatedly called Smollett’s incident a “fake” hate crime. He used the word "fake" over and over to the jury from start to finish.
Webb said Smollett devised a fake hate crime that occurred against him by Donald Trump supporters and then gave false police reports.
Webb told the jury that Smollett gave a false report to police six different times – which is why Smollett is charged with six felony counts of lying to police.
Meanwhile, Smollett's attorney Nene Uche argued the actor is a "victim."
Fox News' Matt Finn contributed to this report
Smollett walked out of the courthouse with about six other people. He briefly gave a thumbs up as he walked out. Smollett is set to return today for opening statements.
After returning from a very long break with attorneys, Judge Linn announced there are 12 jurors. He then dismissed those not needed.
The Judge then did a voir dire for alternates. There are two.
The attorneys are set to give opening statements.
Judge Linn has seated 6. They are filling out paperwork.
He is now calling more people forward to sit in the jury box and be deposed.
Things at the courthouse continue to crawl along as a pool of roughly 47 jurors sits in the courtroom doing their best to remain socially distant. Those inside the courtroom are reportedly able to stay six feet from one another.
Meanwhile, in the hallway with members of the media are roughly 10 potential jurors in folding chairs waiting for their turn to be called in. Everyone is reportedly wearing a mask with the exception of Judge James Linn who is presiding over the courtroom from an elevated seat.
Currently, the judge, not the attorneys, is leading the voir dire questions. Both he and attorneys seem very interested in what, if any, media outlets potential jurors listen to and read.
Several potential jurors are currently undergoing questions about the case to determine how objective they can be.
Judge James Linn is asking potential jurors individually if they are aware of the media coverage surrounding this case and whether or not they can remain impartial given what they’ve heard. Other questions being asked of potential jurors have to do with their personal opinions on key details of the case such as sexual orientation, use of marijuana and recused prosecutor Kim Foxx.
Other standard, more general questions such as juror’s marital status, military experience, occupation and where they’ve lived are being asked as well as both the prosecution and the defense try to find the most impartial group possible.
Jussie Smollett arrived in court on Monday to preside over jury selection on the first day of his highly anticipated trial.
The former “Empire” actor arrived to the court in a navy blue suit and wool coat to match with a white dress shirt and gray striped tie underneath. He wore a black face mask as he arrived to the building with his arms linked to his family members who were there to support him as he argues his innocence. His family members accompanied him into the courtroom where they emotionally said goodbye and left him at the Defense table to watch the proceedings elsewhere in the building.
Seating within the courtroom is limited to accommodate the jury selection pool and requirements on social distancing due to COVID-19.
Click here to read more.
A Cook County judge has ordered that cameras and press will not be allowed inside the courtroom when Jussie Smollett’s trial kicks off Monday.
Judge James Linn denied a request for extended media coverage. At the time of his ruling last Friday, he did not immediately give an explanation. However, Fox News has learned that there will simply be no room in the court during jury selection.
Because of guidelines present to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Judge Linn decided that seating within the courtroom must be reserved for potential jurors. However, the courtroom will reportedly keep its doors open to provide some insight to the public as to what’s going on inside, provided that does not become a disruption. It’s expected that, once the jury is selected, there will be more room for reporters and cameras to film or stream the proceedings.
The former "Empire" actor contends he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault in downtown Chicago on a frigid night in January 2019. However, siblings Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who worked with him on the TV show, say he paid them $3,500 to pose as his attackers.
Smollett is accused of lying to police about the alleged attack and has been charged with felony disorderly conduct. A class 4 felony, the crime carries a sentence of up to three years in prison. However, experts have said it is more likely that if the 39-year-old is convicted, he would be placed on probation and perhaps ordered to perform community service.
As jury selection begins in the high profile trial of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, all eyes are on the two brothers who claim they were paid to attack the star to raise his profile.
Whether Smollett, who is Black and openly gay, testifies on his own behalf remains amystery. However, siblings Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo will take the witness stand where they are expected to repeat what they have told police officers and prosecutors — that they carried out the attack at Smollett's behest for $3,500.
The former “Empire” actor contends he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault in downtown Chicago on a frigid night in January 2019.
Smollett is accused of lying to police about the alleged attack and has been charged with felony disorderly conduct. A class 4 felony, the crime carries a sentence of up to three years in prison but experts have said it is more likely that if Smollett is convicted he would be placed on probation and perhaps ordered to perform community service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Live Coverage begins here