Jussie Smollett Trial Begins With Jury Selection

The actor told the police his attackers poured bleach on him, placed a rope around his neck and yelled “this is MAGA country,” a reference to former President Donald J.

Lawmakers, activists and celebrities reacted furiously to the incident, but the dialogue shifted abruptly in February 2019, when the police told the public that Mr. Smollett had paid two men $3,500 to stage the attack.

Initially, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped the felony charges against the actor, saying that Mr. Smollett had forfeited his $10,000 bond and explaining that he was not a threat to public safety and had a record of service to the community.

Ms. Foxx had recused herself from overseeing the case to avoid any perception that she had a conflict of interest after disclosing that she had communicated with Mr. Smollett’s representatives when he was still considered a victim.

He later determined that the state’s attorney’s office had not violated the law, but did abuse its discretion in deciding to drop charges and put out false or misleading public statements about why it did so.

With the start of the trial, the focus turns back to the facts of what happened on Jan.

Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, the brothers at the center of the Smollett saga, told the police that Mr. Smollett directed them to shout epithets at him and place a noose over his neck.

The brothers told the police that Mr. Smollett met with them later that day and asked them to help stage the attack and again two days later to discuss the details.

Ms. Glandian declined to comment last week on whether her client would be testifying at a trial that has been delayed for months as the court considered questions such as whether Mr. Smollett could be represented by a lawyer, Nenye Uche, whom the Osundairo brothers said they spoke to about the case in 2019.

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