Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett abruptly interrupted the court proceedings to lecture the prosecutor on his repeated use of the N-word.
Smollett, 39, is on trial on six felonious counts of disorderly conduct related to filing a false police report. As class 4 felonies, the charges are among the least serious felonies in the state of Illinois. However, a conviction on such charges normally carries prison time of up to three years.
As the high-profile case nears its conclusion, with closing arguments expected to begin on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, Smollett admonished lead prosecutor Dan Webb, who is White, against his flippant use of the N-word.
Webb kept enunciating the racial slur several times while quoting communication Smollett allegedly sent to Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo on the day of the attack. The Chicago Police Department stated in their reports that they believe the Osundairo brothers conspired with Smollett — who were supposedly paid and operating at the actor’s behest — to stage a faux beatdown in January 2019 that made international headlines.
Sounding irritated during cross-examination, Smollett blurted out, “Can you spell … the n-word out of respect for every African American in this room? You’ve been saying that word a lot,” reports TMZ.
The prosecutor then directed Smollett to read his own alleged writings that he sent to the Nigerian-American brothers. One such message read: “N—– finally made it, just landed hahaha.”
Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout the nearly three-year case despite the strong current of public opinion going against him.