Abimbola “Bola” Osundairo and his brother Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo offered important testimony on Wednesday and Thursday in Smollett’s legal trial on fees that he staged the assault and falsely reported it to police.
The prosecution rested Thursday night after three days of testimony by which it referred to as seven witnesses, together with the brothers.
Ola Osundairo instructed jurors that Smollett “had this crazy idea of having two MAGA supporters attack him,” and that he wished “to put that on social media.”
“Mr. Smollett asked you to fake attack him?” Deputy Special Prosecutor Sam Mendenhall requested.
“Yes,” Ola Osundairo responded.
“Pretending to be Trump supporters?” Mendenhall continued.
“Yes,” Ola Osundairo mentioned.
“So he could then post it on social media?” the prosecutor continued.
“Yes,” Ola Osundairo answered.
He mentioned that Bola was tasked with hitting Smollett, whereas Smollett wished Ola to place a noose round his neck and pour gasoline on him. They in the end modified gasoline to bleach as a result of, Ola Osundairo mentioned, “I wasn’t comfortable pouring gasoline on somebody.”
Smollett has pleaded not responsible to 6 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly making false experiences to police that he was a sufferer of a hate crime. His protection legal professional mentioned in opening statements he’s an actual sufferer and the boys noticed the actor as a “mark” or “target.”
Thursday’s session acquired heated and protection attorneys referred to as for a mistrial. One of the legal professionals alleged Judge James Linn lunged at her, and one other mentioned the choose was making facial expressions.
It started when the choose interjected as legal professional Tamara Walker repeatedly pressed Ola Osundairo on his use of homophobic phrases, resembling when he referred to a musician good friend as a “fruity ass.” Linn angrily instructed Walker to maneuver on from her line of “collateral” questioning.
The protection has prompt through the trial that homophobia might have been a motive in an actual hate crime assault that night time.
In a heated trade, Walker requested the choose for a sidebar, which he denied at first. After the protection for a second time requested a gathering outdoors of earshot of the jury, Linn despatched the panel out of the room.
Walker and her protection crew requested a mistrial.
As the trade between the choose and the protection shortly escalated, Walker turned emotional, at one level sobbing as she paced round a desk, claiming Linn was not permitting her to proceed a line of questioning that was important to the protection’s case.
Walker additionally claimed Linn lunged at her whereas on the sidebar, one thing Linn vehemently denied.
“When you said the word mistrial, and I know you have some pressures here, I’m stunned that you would consider a mistrial,” Linn mentioned. “Ms. Walker, there were objections that had to be sustained and I was trying to get back on point.”
“Just because you think you were allowed to go one way, we’re all just doing our jobs,” Linn instructed Walker.
“There will be no mistrial,” he instructed the shocked courtroom.
Defense legal professional Heather Widell additionally addressed the choose, stating, “I would also like to go on the record that there are facial objections coming from the bench when there are objections.”
“You’re great at facial expressions,” Linn shot again.
Court ended Thursday night time after the protection calling its personal witnesses.
Defense sharply questions Bola Osundairo
The brothers delivered the core testimony of the case, stating plainly that the assault was at all times meant to be faux.
Bola Osundairo was the primary of the 2 brothers to testify, talking in courtroom on Wednesday and Thursday. He instructed the courtroom that Smollett “wanted me to fake beat him up,” and he agreed to take action as a result of he felt indebted to the actor.
“I believed he could help further my acting career,” Osundairo testified. “He told me that we would need another person to fake beat him up. He mentioned could my brother do it. I said yes.”
The actor directed them to say “Empire, f****t, n***er, MAGA,” faux punch him, pour bleach on him after which run away, he testified.
“Who was in charge of this thing?” Webb requested.
“Jussie was,” Bola Osundairo instructed the jury.
The man additionally mentioned Smollett first defined the plan to him in a automotive the place Smollett was smoking marijuana.
“Even though he’s smoking you still think he’s serious?” requested protection legal professional Shay Allen.
“He sounded serious,” Bola Osundairo responded.
Osundairo mentioned Smollett “wanted to use the fake attack or camera footage for media.” He testified that whereas he did not count on cost for serving to Smollett stage the assault, the actor nonetheless gave him a test for $3,500.
In cross-examination, Allen accused Bola Osundairo of getting a want to work safety for Smollett and that it turned a rising level of pressure. Osundairo testified he did not keep in mind.
“You attacked Jussie because you wanted to scare him into hiring you,” accused Allen, to which Osundairo responded, “No.”
However, particular prosecutor Dan Webb requested whether or not Smollett ever talked about safety in any respect whereas this “fake attack” was being hatched and Osundairo responded, “No.”
Testimony grew tense at occasions as Allen requested whether or not Bola Osundairo had a sexual relationship with Smollett, which he denied, and the way he couldn’t have anticipated the police to become involved if the media consideration on the story grew, as Smollett allegedly deliberate.
“I wasn’t thinking,” Bola Osundairo mentioned.
“We finally agree on something,” Allen responded.
During re-direct examination, Webb honed in on the timing of the alleged hoax on one of many coldest nights in Chicago. “If you had not had advanced discussions with Jussie Smollett how would you know where he would be at 2 a.m. in a polar vortex?”
“I wouldn’t,” Osundairo responded.
Later, Ola Osundairo testified the brothers had at one level contemplated leaving if the actor did not present up.
“It was super cold that night. I was freezing the whole time we were out there,” he mentioned. “My brother saw him and that’s when we continued to approach him.”
Osundairo mentioned that is when he put the rope over Smollett’s head and poured bleach on him, whereas making an attempt to not get bleach on Smollett’s face to keep away from injuring the actor.
Defense witness says Smollett sounded panicked
The first witness referred to as by the protection described what he heard as he talked to Smollett through the encounter.
Brandon Moore, Smollett’s former music supervisor, mentioned he heard “something something MAGA country,” then what seemed like scuffling.
“Jussie said, ‘Yo, I just got jumped,’ ” Moore instructed the courtroom.
Smollett sounded panicked and out of breath, Moore testified.
During cross-examination, deputy particular prosecutor Sean Wieber identified, “You couldn’t see how hard the punches landed,” and “you did not witness what happened to Mr. Smollett,” to which Moore responded, “Correct.”
The protection additionally referred to as an emergency medication doctor who examined Smollett after the alleged assault and Smollett’s publicist on the time, Pamela Sharp.
The prosecution mentioned in its opening assertion that Smollett orchestrated the assault for publicity and a profession increase. Sharp testified that Smollett earned between $100,000 and $125,000 per episode — about $2 million for a season.
The choose ended the day by telling jurors to not come again till Monday, after they may hear closing arguments and start deliberating.
CNN’s Omar Jimenez and Bill Kirkos reported from Chicago and CNN’s Eric Levenson reported and wrote from New York. CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.