Jussie Smollett identified one of her attackers as white, two Chicago police officers testified Wednesday.
But when the two brothers, Smollett, who was recruited to stage the hate crime, were arrested, he changed his story and said the man was “pale in the skin,” Detective Robert Graves said.
Graves said as he confronted the former “Empire” actor about the disagreement, he said, “Well, he behaved as if he was white from what he said.”
Smollett, who is black and gay, said as he was on his way back to his Streeterville apartment building after a stop at a Subway sandwich shop on January 29, 2019, when he heard someone shout “Empire n *****, Empire f * ****, ”Graves’ partner, Detective Kimberly Murray, told jurors on the third day of the trial.
“What the hell are you saying to me,” Murray said as Smollett told her he was answering.
“This is MAGA land,” Smollett said, adding that one of his two attackers shouted, along with a race apology, before he was hit to the ground, Murray said.
Smollett said he could see one of his attackers was white because he could see the attacker’s skin and part of his nose behind a ski mask he was wearing, testified Murray, the first detective to interview Smollett at the Northwestern Memorial. Hospital.
Smollett also told Murray that he received a homophobic phone call and a letter with a picture of a stick figure with a loop around his neck, days before he said he was assaulted.
But he refused to give his mobile phone to the police as they wanted to investigate the matter further.
He also refused to have his medical records released or to submit a DNA sample, Graves and Murray said.
“He said he wanted his privacy and he did not want the information leaked.” said Graves.
Murray said Smollett had given her several phone numbers of people he had recently spoken to, including his coach, but he never identified the coach by his name: Abimbola Osundairo.
Abimbola Osundairo and his brother, Olabinjo Osundairo, said Smollett hired them to stage the attack and is expected to testify against Smollett.
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