Jury selection began this week in the trial of Jussie Smollett. Smollett stands accused of six counts of disorderly conduct after he allegedly made a false police report that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago in 2019. The Chicago Sun Times Reports–
“Smollett, who is Black and gay, said he was walking home when two men approached him in the 300 block of East North Lower Water Street and attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.
The actor claimed the men had also shouted “This is MAGA country,” a reference to then-President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan, poured a bleach-like liquid on him and hung a thin rope noose around his neck.”
On Monday, the disgraced actor testified in his own trial shortly before the defense rested their case. Experts are calling the testimony an “unparalleled disaster” that either did not help his case or hurt it. FOX News Reports–
“The former “Empire” performer gave a whirlwind testimony over the course of two days that saw Smollett vehemently state in no uncertain terms that the allegations are “100% false” despite what the Osundairo brothers previously testified, some legal experts believe Smollett did himself no favors and likely hurt his defense by taking the stand.”
Former U.S. attorney Neama Rahmani said that Smollett’s testimony was likely a hail mary by defense attorneys who know Smollett is unlikely to be acquitted, or “a narcissistic criminal defendant who is doubling down on his charged lies “.
She further says that his testimony may result in the judge adding charges of obstructing justice and perjuring himself on the witness stand.
One prominent attorney in Michigan called the testimony “An unparalleled disaster.” Attorney James White noted that he believes Smollett not only “hurt his case” but also “went beyond and made the prosecutor’s case” in the process.
Closing arguments are being made today in the Smollett trial and the jury is set to begin deliberations as early as tonight.