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Jussie Smollett testifies at his trial: 'There was no hoax'

Jussie Smollett Trial
Posted at 10:45 AM, Dec 06, 2021

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has testified that claims he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself are “100% false.”

Two brothers testified last week that Smollett, who is gay and Black, orchestrated the hoax to get publicity. They said he paid them to fake the January 2019 attack in downtown Chicago.

In his testimony, Smollett addressed his relationship with the brothers.

According to WGN, Smollett said he and one of the brothers did drugs together and engaged in sexual acts together.

Smollett also doubled down on his claim that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack, saying it wasn't a hoax.

“It felt like something out of "Looney Tune Adventures," someone that felt massive just coming up to me, not even enough time to think,” Smollett said, according to NBC Chicago.

Smollett’s attorneys have argued the attack was real and that the brothers made up the story about a hoax then asked the actor for $1 million each to not testify at trial.

The choice of Smollett to testify is risky, but some legal experts say Smollett’s only chance of acquittal is by giving the jury another narrative. And, they say, jurors are told not to hold it against defendants who choose not to testify, but they often go back to the deliberation room and do just that.