(NewsNation Now) — After explosive testimony Wednesday in the trial of Jussie Smollett in which a witness testified that the attack on the actor was staged, today the defense will get its chance to cross-examine the witness.
Abimbola Osundairo told the court that Smollett staged every part of the attack by him and his brother, Olabinjo, even down to what racial slurs the two would use and who would throw what punch and when.
Osundairo said Smollett paid him and his brother to carry out the attack, which also included bleach and a noose. He said he agreed to pull off the attack because he and Smollett were close friends and he thought Smollett could help him get into acting, having already gotten him a stand-in part on the series “Empire.”
Smollett planned the attack, Osundairo said, because he was upset that a threatening letter he received at the television studio where he was filming was not taken seriously. Jurors were shown the letter in court Wednesday, along with the check for $3,500 written by Smollett allegedly to pay for the assault. The defense claims the check was to cover personal training for a music video shoot.
Smollett faces felony charges of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. Smollett has pleaded not guilty, and could face up to three years in prison if convicted.