Defense Casts Jussie Smollett as ‘Target’ of Osundairo Brothers as Hoax Hate Crime Trial Kicks Off 

Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Courts Building for the start of jury selection in his trial in Chicago, Ill., November 29, 2021. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Chicago, Ill. — The prosecution and defense provided opening statements Monday night in the criminal case against Jussie Smollett, the former star of the television show Empire who is accused of staging a racist and anti-gay hate crime against himself nearly three years ago.

For such a high-profile case, the criminal stakes for Smollett are pretty low. The 39-year-old actor and musician faces six low-level disorderly conduct charges. If he’s found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to three years behind bars, but he could also receive probation and community service. Smollett has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and

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Ryan Mills is an enterprise and media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.


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