The man Jussie Smollett allegedly paid to help him orchestrate a hate crime took the stand in the actor’s criminal trial Wednesday, explaining how he was involved in the hoax because he believed the Empire star could help grow his own acting career.
“He explained that he wanted me to fake beat him up,” Abimbola Osundairo testified.
“I agreed to do it because most importantly, I felt indebted to him, to Jussie,” Osundairo said. “He also got me a stand-in role on Empire and I also believed that he could help further my acting career.”
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Regarding the case, Abimbola Osundairo and his brother are at the center of the sensational trial as the prosecution’s star witnesses after they told police they were paid $3,500 to help the former “Empire” star stage the hate crime on a frigid night in January 2019. Smollett’s team denies the allegations and said the men intended to attack him.
Smollett is facing six counts of felony disorderly conduct for lying to police and if convicted, faces up to three years in jail.
Abimbola, who also worked on the set of “Empire,” testified that he and Smollett met through mutual friends in 2017 and over the next year and a half became extremely close as they spent time together smoking weed, visiting strip clubs and having sleepovers at the star’s Streeterville high-rise.
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