As the second trial into the alleged attack of Jussie Smollett takes place, one of the two men accused of attacking Smollett took the stand on Wednesday and is sticking to their original story. Entertainment Tonight reports the two brothers say Smollett paid them to "fake beat him up." Smollett is currently facing six counts of disorderly conduct and is accused of lying to police regarding the 2019 beating.
As many may remember Smollett made headlines for a 2019 incident where he seemed to be the victim of a hate crime after being beaten and hit with gay slurs by two men. Upon investigation, authorities allegedly discovered an inside scheme in which Smollett (who is both openly gay and Black) paid the two men $3,500 to stage a beating in order to further his acting career from the publicity.
Abel Osundairo told the courtroom of his relationship with the Empire alum, saying that the two grew close during his time appearing as an extra on the FOX drama. "We became very good friends," Osundairo said of Smollett. "I would call him my brother." Osundairo testified that they had a conversation prior to the faked attack in which they discussed what would make for the best optics. "I believe he said there was going to be a camera to capture the fake attack — that he wanted a camera to capture the fake attack," Osundairo said. He said he agreed to stage the attack out of a need to repay the actor for his assistance. "I agreed to do it, most importantly, because I felt indebted to Jussie," he said. "He also got me a stand-in role on Empire, and I believed he could further my acting career."
Osundairo faced a tough cross-examination from the defense, who proceeded to poke holes in his testimony. "Even though he's smoking you still think he's serious?" asked defense attorney Shay Allen, per CNN. "He sounded serious," Osundairo responded. Allen accused Osundairo with his line of questioning, further examining Osundairo's motives behind accepting the scheme. "You attacked Jussie because you wanted to scare him into hiring you," asked Allen, to which Osundairo answered, "No."
When asked why he didn't consider the possibility of police involvement in a plot that would bring heightened attention to everyone involved, Osundairo responded "I wasn't thinking." Allen closed his questions saying, "We finally agree on something."