Jussie Smollett Wouldn’t Help Police During Investigation Of His Hate Crime Allegations, Detective Testifies


As testimony kicked off in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett, who has been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report that he was a victim of a hate crime attack in 2019–an incident that police say Smollett staged—the lead detective who investigated the incident stated in court that Smollett was uncooperative during the Chicago Police Department’s initial probe.

Key Facts

Detective Michael Theis testified that Smollett declined to hand over his cell phone and would not provide medical records or a sample for DNA testing to identify the attackers he claimed had put a noose around his neck because he’s black and openly gay, according to CBS News Chicago and Fox News

Theis testified that between 24 and 26 officers worked on the case and dedicated over 3,000 hours to it, according to CBS News Chicago

The detective said he directed so much manpower at investigating the incident because it was “horrible” and there was so much public attention to Smollett’s claims, including that the attackers had yelled that he was in “MAGA country.” 

Theis stated that investigators determined that Smollett staged the attack on himself with Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo. 

The detective said the Osundairo brothers told police that Smollett staged the attack because he received a threatening letter at the studio where his show Empire was being filmed and allegedly felt that the studio did not take it seriously enough. 

Chief Critic

“Jussie Smollett is a real victim,” Uche said in his opening statement Monday and claimed the Osundairo brothers really attacked Smollett, the Associated Press reported

Key Background

Smollett, who starred on the show Empire at the time of the incident, claimed he was attacked on January 29, 2019, by two men who poured a liquid on him and hung a noose around his neck. Chicago police initially reported that Smollett was reluctant to report the attack, which Smollett commented on during an interview with ABC in the weeks after the incident, saying he refused to hand over his phone to protect the private information stored on it. The Osundario brothers were arrested in mid-February after learning that one had worked on Empire, but they were released without charges and police turned their attention to  Smollett. The actor was charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false report on February 20, 2019. Those charges were later dropped, though a year later he was indicted on six counts of disorderly conduct for making false statements to police.

Further Reading

The Jussie Smollett trial: Timeline of how this case ended up in court (ABC News) 

Google Ordered To Hand Over Location And Private Data Of ‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett (Forbes)

The Tycoon Herald