In his testimony this week, Smollett claims he had a sexual relationship with one of his alleged attackers.
Things are only getting messier with Jussie Smollett. In the latest twist to the ongoing saga, Smollett, who is currently on trial for allegedly staging a hate crime in which he was violently attacked by a pair of men in Chicago in February 2019, took to the stand on Monday, claiming “there was no hoax,” while also claiming that he had had a sexual relationship with one of his two supposed attackers prior to the supposed assault.
The prosecution’s case against Smollett, who is facing six counts of felony disorderly misconduct for making false reports, rests heavily on the accounts of Abimbola (“Bola”) and Olabingo “Ola” Osundairo, two brothers who testified last week that Smollett had paid and directed them to enact a racist and homophobic attack (the brothers, who were wearing masks during the attack, are Black) that involved ambushing Smollett, placing a noose around his neck, and pouring bleach over him. Smollett allegedly provided them $100 for supplies and a $3500 check; he claims the check was for nutrition and training purposes.
Yet, Smollett, who has continued to maintain his innocence despite mounting evidence that casts serious doubt over the incident, claimed that he and Bola had already had an intimate relationship, seemingly indicating a motive for a real attack. The two did drugs together, Smollett said, “made out” at a bathhouse in Chicago, and went on to become sexually involved in other cases. In his testimony last week, Bola denied any sexual relationship between the two.
Meanwhile, Smollett claimed that his relationship with the other brother, Ola, was distant and mistrustful: "He kind of freaked me out,” Smollett said. “Every time we were around him, he didn't speak to me. Every time we needed to leave, he made it seem like we needed to sneak off."
If Smollett is found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison, though experts say he will likely just face probation and community service. Regardless, in the wake of this increasingly wild controversy, Smollett’s career as an actor and public star is all but permanently tarnished — and each development of this trial is only digging him further into a hole.