Even the judge had to scold him: “Please, please. It’s the same for all witnesses, it’s not personal to you. The lawyer asks questions, you answer them.”
Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett should not have taken the stand in his own defense against accusations he staged a hate crime against himself.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb got under Smollett’s skin. The reasonable line of questioning caused Smollett to reveal a high level of arrogance of someone who thinks he is untouchable.
Smollett spent Monday on the stand crying, making him sound like a scorned lover and friend of Abimbola Osundario.
Smollett claimed he had a sexual and somewhat professional relationship with Abimbola. He insisted he did not have anything to do with Olabinjo, the other Osundario brother.
Webb made sure Smollett did not stray by only asking questions related to the incident. He also wanted to know why Smollett never gave the police a DNA sample or phone records. Smollett claimed privacy, but the prosecution argued it’s because Smollett did not want to implicate himself.
Webb wanted to know why cameras caught Smollett driving around with both brothers three times around the area of the alleged hate crime. The prosecution alleged the videos prove the three of them went on a “dry run” of the crime in those videos.
Smollett said he picked up the brothers since “Ubers were getting crazy.” He said he was texting about an interview, smoking weed, and feeling weird about Olabinjo in the car.
The car appeared around the intersection again because “It was easier to just use the interview as a reason ‘well now we can’t really work out so I’ll drive you back.’”
Then Webb brought up Instagram direct messages between Abimbola and Smollett. Webb said Smollett provided updates to Abimbola on his delayed flight back to Chicago so they could adjust their schedule.
Smollett explained the responses were to his public Instagram story where he complained about his delayed flight. But then he told Webb he wanted to “check in and let Osundario know his flight was delayed and he wouldn’t be available to workout that night as scheduled.”
Smollett said: “There was no fake attack. There was no update to him, there was an update to my over 5 million followers.”
LOL. Webb pointed out the message was a private one to Abimbola. Because, um, when you respond to someone’s Instagram story it sends as a private message.
Yeah, Smollett tried to steer the conversation away from the content because Webb read messages with the N-word.
Webb: I don't intend to do that sort.. you can read your messages aloud.
Smollett then reads his own message
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) December 7, 2021
'look at me, I'm older, I do not understand instagram…" Special Prosecutor Dan Webbs tells Smollett and the court in a lighter moment in court — Smollett testifying about private Insta messages on night of alleged attack
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) December 7, 2021
It’s Not Fair!
Smollett hated Webb’s questioning. He tried to cry to Judge James Linn who put the failing actor in his place:
It was clear that Webb had punctured a nerve with Smollett. After the actor tried to cast doubt on Abimbola’s testimony by claiming the two had been in a sexual relationship, Webb put the focus back on Smollett, pressing him in an intense series of back-and-forth exchanges about the specific details of the night in question. These included whether Smollett thought a Walgreens was open for 24 hours, why he was looking for eggs in the middle of the night, whether or not he’d asked Abimbola about a workout that night, and on and on until the actor seemed to hit a breaking point.
“I’m just concerned about answering yes or no,” Smollett told Judge James Linn after Webb began to strike one of his responses as “non-responsive.”
“Please, please,” Linn told him. “It’s the same for all witnesses, it’s not personal to you. The lawyer asks questions, you answer them.”
Smollett told police white men attacked him. Then he changed he described the men as “pale” because he wanted to be responsible:
“I didn’t want to make the assumption that they were white. So I said, ‘Let me change that and just say that they were pale-skinned,’ ” he said, adding, “They could’ve been a white person, they could have been a pale someone else.”
Asked whether he called them white so the attack would get more attention, he fired back, “You’d have to ask someone who actually did a fake hate crime.”
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