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Jussie Smollett's trial testimony ends after contentious cross-examination: LIVE UPDATES

Jussie Smollett’s testimony concluded on Tuesday after the defense redirected prosecutor Dan Webb’s line of questioning. The actor left the witness stand but the Defense has not yet rested its case.


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Jussie Smollett thanks reporters outside of Chicago courthouse following combative two-day testimony

Smollett exited the courthouse on Tuesday – arm-in-arm with family members – to a slew of reporters and photographers hovered around an SUV parked outside.

Following a contentious court testimony and cross-examination, the former “Empire” actor appeared calm as he helped his mother into the awaiting vehicle.“

"Thank you for being respectful, y’all,” Smollett said to gatherers. “Appreciate it.”

Fox News’ Matt Finn asked Smollett what the actor was thinking about on the way out of the courthouse – Smollett responded by hoisting his fist in the air.

Tuesday’s court session ended early as closing arguments are scheduled to get underway on Wednesday.

Smollett is charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say was lying to police by filing a false police report about the alleged attack — one count for each time he gave a report — to three different officers.

The class 4 felony carries a prison sentence of up to three years, but experts have said if Smollett is convicted he likely would be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.

Posted by Julius Young

Jussie Smollett ends testimony in trial over alleged fake hate crime attack

Jussie Smollett’s testimony concluded on Tuesday after the defense redirected prosecutor Dan Webb’s line of questioning. 

Smollett’s attorney Nenye Uche focused on the Instagram messages that Webb alleged helped prove that he was keeping Bola Osundairo up-to-date on his whereabouts the night of the attack so he would know when and where to find him. Smollett said that “tons” of his followers responded to an Instagram Story he posted about his flight being delayed and the incoming Polar Vortex in Chicago, which automatically begins a private messaging conversation on the app. 

Uche also focused on Smollett’s allegation that the brothers reached out to him after the attack to try and extort $1 million each in exchange for telling the police that they did not plan the hoax. Under another redirect from Webb, Smollett noted that the brothers did not reach out to him about the money personally but did so through their  representatives to his attorneys.

With that, Smollett ended his time on the witness stand.

Posted by Tyler McCarthy

Jussie Smollett scolds prosecutor for using the N-word while quoting his private messages

Jussie Smollett denied under oath all allegations that he brought the Osundairo brothers on a “dry run” of his attack two days prior to it taking place. 

In trying to prove the contrary, Webb showed and read from private Instagram messages between Bola Osundairo and Smollett in which the latter kept updating Bola on his whereabouts and flight delay information on the night of the attack, making the case that he was working with him to time out the planned attack. Some of the messages included the use of the N-word, prompting Smollett to interrupt the prosecutor to ask him to spell or abbreviate the word so as not to offend "every African American in this room."

Webb said that Smollett was welcome to read his own messages to the court but that he would not censor the quotations of the actor's messages. Smollett complied and the two moved on. 

The remainder of the cross-examination saw Webb call key details of Smollett’s story of both the night of the attack and the alleged dry run into question, with Smollett denying throughout that he orchestrated anything with the Osundairo brothers, referring to both the siblings as “liars.” 

Webb ended his cross-examination and the defense will soon be allowed to redirect.

Posted by Tyler McCarthy

Jussie Smollett takes the stand to undergo more cross-examination from the prosecution

Jussie Smollett took the witness stand for the second day in a row Tuesday to testify on his own behalf. 

The former “Empire” actor returned to court to continue being cross-examined by special prosecutor Dan Webb after speaking with both him and his defense attorneys under oath for several hours on Monday. During his previous testimony, the actor stated in no uncertain terms that he did not orchestrate the alleged hate crime attack against himself calling the allegations "100% false" despite what brothers Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo previously testified. 

Webb began his cross-examination of the star on Monday before court ended for the evening close to 7:00 p.m. ET. In that time, he asked Smollett why he refused to provide a DNA sample or phone records to police. The actor cited privacy concerns, but the prosecution has been trying to make the case that he feared providing that information to police may have proven that he worked with the Osundairo brothers to stage the attack.

Posted by Tyler McCarthy

Jussie Smollett faces trial in the court of public opinion as well

As Jussie Smollett is expected to continue his testimony for the second day on Tuesday, his supporters outside the courthouse are hard at work doing what they can to preserve his reputation in the event he is found guilty. 

The Associated Press reports that celebrities and activists who support Smollett are speaking  to the press daily outside the courthouse in an alleged broader effort to preserve his reputation and leave the door open for a future career after the high-profile trial. 

The impact on his livelihood could be far more serious. Taking the witness stand Monday, Smollett testified that " I've lost my livelihood." His media relations team, which is led by a former Chicago TV reporter, released a statement to The Associated Press from family friend Fania Davis, who said Smollett already has lost income and "many professional opportunities" due to a "character assassination and disinformation campaign" by Chicago police.

Click here to read more.

Posted by Tyler McCarthy

Jussie Smollett testifies to having correspondence with CNN's Don Lemon during CPD investigation

Jussie Smollett said he had correspondence with CNN's Don Lemon during the early parts of the investigation into the alleged hate crime attack.

In his court testimony on Monday, Smollett said under oath that during the investigation, he received a text from the network’s Don Lemon — supposedly relaying information that the Chicago Police Department didn’t believe his account of what happened.

Lemon told his viewers at the time that the story was “personal” since he and Smollett had been acquaintances and were in constant communication since the alleged incident and that Smollett told Lemon what he said had happened to him, which he admitted raised lots of questions.

He stressed that while Smollett is “innocent until proven guilty,” he still “squandered the good will of a whole lot of people” if his story wasn’t true."

The charges against Smollett — six counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police about the January 2019 attack — are low-level felonies and carry a possible sentence of three years in prison. Legal experts say if convicted he would most likely get probation and be ordered to perform community service. -The Associated Press and Julius Young and Matt Finn contributed to this report

Posted by Edmund DeMarche

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