Jussie Smollett Takes the Stand, Claims He Was Hesitant to Report Hate Crime: ‘I Am a Black Man in America’

Jussie Smollett arrives at court on the first full day of his trial for six counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion of making false reports to police, in Chicago, Ill., November 30, 2021. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)

Chicago, Ill. — Testifying in his own defense Monday, former Empire star Jussie Smollett forcefully denied that he had anything to do with staging a hoax hate crime against himself in January 2019 or that he knowingly reported false information to police after the attack.

Smollett said he considered Abimbola Osundairo, one of the alleged attackers, a friend, and didn’t believe he had been involved, even after police told them of their suspicions. He called the alleged attack “embarrassing,” and said he never wanted to report it to police, in part because it could hurt his career, but also because of his lack

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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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