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Crime: Jussie Smollett Wrote and Directed His Own Movie While Awaiting Trial

Trial set to start on charges Smollett faked racist attack

  Trial set to start on charges Smollett faked racist attack CHICAGO (AP) — A popular actor steps out onto the street and is brutally reminded that, despite his fame and wealth, places still exist where the color of his skin and sexual orientation put him in danger. That was the story that ricocheted around the world after Jussie Smollett, a Black and openly gay actor, reported to Chicago police that he was the victim of a hate crime. Nearly three years later, Smollett is about to stand trial on charges that he staged the whole thing. He was charged with felony disorderly conduct after law enforcement and prosecutors said he lied to police about what happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2019, in downtown Chicago.

While it seemed that Jussie Smollett had all but vanished from the spotlight amid charges of having lied about an alleged racist and homophobic attack, he was, in fact, working toward a major career milestone.

Jussie Smollett attends Leighton Criminal Court with his attorney Tina Glandian (L) on March 14, 2019, in Chicago. The actor's trial will commence on Monday. © E. JASON WAMBSGANS/AFP via Getty Images Jussie Smollett attends Leighton Criminal Court with his attorney Tina Glandian (L) on March 14, 2019, in Chicago. The actor's trial will commence on Monday.

The former Empire star is due in a Chicago court on Monday as he defends himself against charges that he orchestrated his own attack in the city back in 2019, in which he had alleged that two men poured bleach on him and placed a noose around his neck.

Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack

  Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett goes to trial Monday on charges that he lied to Chicago police when the former “Empire” actor and R&B singer reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack nearly three years ago. Some key moments in the story: Jan. 22, 2019 — Smollett receives a racist and homophobic threatening letter at the studio in Chicago where "Empire" is filmed. Police later say they believe Smollett sent the letter himself. Jan. 29, 2019— Jussie Smollett tells police he was attacked by two men in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m.

Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo later alleged they had been paid $3,500 by the actor to stage the attack. While Smollett was arrested, charges against him were dropped in March 2019.

By February 2020, Cook County special prosecutor Dan Webb announced that a grand jury had indicted him on six new counts of disorderly conduct and lying to the Chicago Police Department.

He faces up to three years in prison, if convicted.

The fallout from the allegations led to Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, being written out of Fox show Empire ahead of its 2020 series finale.

But while he waited for his day in court, Smollett had been keeping himself busy behind the scenes, working on his movie directorial debut, B-Boy Blues.

Variety reported in October 2020 that the film, based on James Earl Hardy's 1994 novel of the same name, went into production that month and would be produced by Smollett's SuperMassive Movies.

Jussie Smollett trial begins with jury selection in Chicago on Monday

  Jussie Smollett trial begins with jury selection in Chicago on Monday The actor Jussie Smollett has denied for more than two years he lied about being the victim of a hate crime. Starting Monday, he and his lawyers will fight the accusations at trial.The long road in the Jussie Smollett case finally reaches trial Monday in Chicago, more than two years after police first alleged the actor lied about being the victim of a hate crime and wrongfully diverted weeks of investigative manpower.

The plot follows the story of journalist Mitchell Crawford and bicycle messenger Raheim Rivers, who meet at a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village in the summer of 1993 and fall in love.

B-Boy Blues' title refers to a banjee boy, a term originating in New York City ballroom culture that describes a person embodying a tough swagger.

Smollet told Shadow and Act at the time the film was announced: "Like so many same-gender-loving, black men... B-Boy Blues was and continues to be a story that hits home for me in ways that not many people truly understand.

"With that said... it's truly a universal story about Black on Black love. I couldn't be more psyched to have this project be my feature film directorial debut. To have someone as iconic as James Earl Hardy, trust me, to bring his vision to life is an honor I don't take lightly."

As Jussie Smollett (L) awaited trial amid charges he faked his own racist and homophobic attack, the actor busied himself writing and directing his new movie, © Rob Kim/Getty Images;/Jussie Smollett/Instagram/SuperMassive Movies As Jussie Smollett (L) awaited trial amid charges he faked his own racist and homophobic attack, the actor busied himself writing and directing his new movie, "B-Boy Blues" (R). Rob Kim/Getty Images;/Jussie Smollett/Instagram/SuperMassive Movies

It is not known whether Smollett, who forfeited his $10,000 bail bond as repayment to the city for its investigation when his first set of charges were dropped in 2019, is currently on bail.

Jussie Smollett Trial: Brothers Allegedly Hired to Stage Attack to Appear in Court

  Jussie Smollett Trial: Brothers Allegedly Hired to Stage Attack to Appear in Court Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo—known as Abel and Ola—have alleged that Jussie Smollett orchestrated and paid them for his own attack at their hands.Former Empire star Smollett had alleged that in January 2019, he was attacked by two men who doused him with bleach and placed a noose around his neck as they yelled that he was in "MAGA country," in apparent reference to former President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again.

A bond is paid to ensure the defendant's presence at a trial.

In May 2019, The Associated Press reported that one of the conditions of the bail was that he didn't make any contact with the brothers who had accused him of paying them to stage the attack.

Given that the star is facing similar charges as before, it is likely that the pre-trial restrictions remain the same, allowing him to work on his project and attend its associated events.

On November 19, Smollett stepped out in New York City for the film's premiere, marking his first red carpet outing since the charges were filed against him.

Smollett has promoted the film on his Instagram account, where he wrote last week: "This film, this family, this story. This past weekend, we screened my feature film, directorial debut, @bboybluesthefilm for the first time with an actual audience. The reaction was overwhelming. So grateful to each person that came out.

"I have so many words of gratitude for so many, so I'm going to be spotlighting some of our incredible team who have made this project come together in the next few weeks and it starts with my friend, hero, and our King @james.e.hardy.9. James is the Father of this entire project. It started with a book that changed so many minds and made so many of us feel seen, heard and understood.

Jussie Smollett Trial Begins After Special Prosecutor Revived Case Against Actor

  Jussie Smollett Trial Begins After Special Prosecutor Revived Case Against Actor Jussie Smollett is charged with six counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion of making false reports to investigators in 2019 after telling police he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. His lawyer has entered not guilty pleas on his behalf. RELATED: Jussie Smollett Seen Wearing Rope Around His Neck on Night of Alleged Attack in Police Footage Smollett, an openly gay Black actor, was originally indicted in March 2019 with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report claiming that two men attacked him on Jan. 29, 2019.

"Then there was the play (which is showing again this December so check out James page for updates). And folks got to see a new take on a classic that still means so much. Now it's a FILM and I'm honored to be able to usher this version in.

"Your faith and trust has been a light in my life when there was not much light in sight. To hear your words and know you are proud is all that has ever mattered to me. I speak for myself and so many others when I say... thank you. I love you for life."

Related Articles

  • Judge Orders Jussie Smollett's Lawyer Not to Question Brothers Connected to Staged Attack
  • Jussie Smollett Trial: Brothers Allegedly Hired to Stage Attack to Appear in Court
  • Judge Rejects Jussie Smollett's Claim That New Charges Should Be Dismissed Due to Double Jeopardy
  • Jussie Smollett's Trial Begins as Actor Faces Charges He Faked Racist Attack

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Don Lemon Faces 'Ethical Questions' Over Jussie Smollett's Tip-Off Testimony .
Don Lemon has come under fire, after Jussie Smollett testified the CNN anchor warned him that police didn't believe his account of his alleged racial attack.Former Empire star Smollett is currently awaiting the jury's verdict, after standing trial amid accusations he orchestrated his own alleged attack by two men in 2019 on the streets of Chicago, during which he stated that a noose was tied around his neck.

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