Jussie Smollett allegedly did a run-through with his attackers the day before the ‘hate crime’ took place.
The 39-year-old actor – who is on trial for allegedly orchestrating a racist and homophobic ambush against himself that he reported to the Chicago Police Department almost three years ago – was allegedly seen on video practicing the assault with brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who he knew from the television drama series, Empire.
During opening arguments on Monday, special prosecutor Dan Webb told the court that the actor was upset that a threatening letter he had received at his place of work was not taken more seriously, so he hired the Osundairos to attack him. Webb teased that there was a video of the alleged rehearsal, which he said would show jurors a play-by-play of the “dry run.”
On Tuesday, prosecutors played surveillance footage painstakingly gathered by the CPD that showed the Osundairo brothers walking around the streets of Chicago near Smollett in the predawn hours of January 29, 2019, when the attack occurred.
According to Fox News, they explained how detectives reviewed and pieced together a series of surveillance, security and doorbell camera footage to track the brothers’ whereabouts and movements that night, which ultimately helped them identify the men as the perpetrators.
The Osundairo brothers have already told investigators that Smollett wrote them a check for $3,500 to carry out the alleged plan and gave them $100 in cash to get the supplies they needed to complete the purported task.
Meanwhile, defense attorney Nenye Uche‘s argument is that theOsundairo brothers ambushed Smollett because they did not like him. Uche said the check the actor wrote the men was for fitness training so that he could prepare for an upcoming music video.
According to both Uche and his client, there was apparently a third attacker involved in the incident. Despite the fact that there is currently little-to-no evidence to support the existence and participation of a third assailant, Uche seems confident that it will help prove Smollet’s innocence.
In fact, he noted during opening arguments that there is not even a “shred” of physical evidence to prove that the actor faked the attack.