Chicago grand jury hears witness testimony in Jussie Smollett case

Dozens of witnesses, text messages and cellphone tower records were presented Monday to the Chicago grand jury that indicted Jussie Smollett on felony disorderly conduct for allegedly faking an attack against himself on January…

Chicago grand jury hears witness testimony in Jussie Smollett case

Dozens of witnesses, text messages and cellphone tower records were presented Monday to the Chicago grand jury that indicted Jussie Smollett on felony disorderly conduct for allegedly faking an attack against himself on January 29.

The case took several days to present to the grand jury, which met Monday and Tuesday, following which it returned the indictment.

He has been held without bail at the Cook County Jail since his arrest, the county Sheriff’s office has said.

A criminal complaint filed by the Chicago Police Department last week says Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an attack on him. Police say Smollett lured two brothers, Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, to a location in Chicago where he staged the attack in order to promote his career. Smollett allegedly paid them $3,500.

Prosecutors allege that the brothers had staged the attack out of a desire to silence Smollett.

Chicago police said the brothers have since cooperated with authorities and that they do not believe Smollett is a “credible victim.”

Smollett paid the brothers about $3,500 for their involvement in the staged attack, but they were paid in $100 increments, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. The amount is “significant,” and coupled with previous contacts between Smollett and the Osundairo brothers indicated he knew he was being set up, Guglielmi said.

The actor and “Empire” co-star, who is black and openly gay, told police he was attacked near the corner of Austin and North avenues in Chicago, telling police he was beaten up by two men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs.

Smollett told police he was tased and the assailants looped a rope around his neck before running away. Police responding to the scene found nothing to indicate Smollett had been a victim of a crime.

Smollett turned himself in to the Chicago Police Department on February 13, and police released surveillance images from earlier that day that showed Smollett purchasing rope from a store.

But police have not spoken to Smollett since they questioned him two days after the alleged attack.

“It’s important for all of us to remember that Jussie is presumed innocent,” said Paul Bond, a spokesman for Smollett’s legal team. “The GAG Act does not apply to Jussie, and he is looking forward to his day in court.”

Leave a Comment