One of the jurors in the Jessie Smollett case has spoken anonymously to the Chicago-Sun Tribune about the actor’s trial. Last week, the former Empire star was found guilty of five out of six disorderly conduct charges.
All the charges related to Smollett, 39, lying to police about being the victim of a hate crime.
The juror said they found Smollett’s defense case less convincing than the prosecution, and Smollett’s own testimony lacked credible answers.
She said the defense had relied on character witnesses, whereas the prosecution was “plodding” and “methodical”, using the testimonies of the Osundairo brothers, who carried out the fake attack, to weave a “seamless” case.
Related: Smollett gets testy in court over DMs he sent to alleged attacker before assault
She said the defense produced no witnesses to back up Smollett’s account of what happened. In particular, she highlighted the absence of Frank Gatson, Smollett’s creative director. Gatson was the one to initially call the police, allegedly against Smollett’s wishes. He was on the defense’s list of potential witnesses but was never called.
“We all wanted to hear from Frank,” the juror said, adding it might have supported the things Smollett said.
The defense claimed brothers Abimbola ‘Abel’ and Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo asked for $1million each from Smollett not to testify, but offered no evidence or testimony to support this claim. This lack of evidence was duly noted by the jury.
The juror said all the jury thought Smollett guilty, but they debated for nine hours as to whether it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt. They also had a hesitation over just one of the charges.
That charge concerned Smollett lying during a second interview with detectives on Feb. 14, 2019. He was charged with falsely reporting an “aggravated battery.” The other five charges related to Smollett reporting a “battery” and a hate crime to officers in the hours immediately after the January attack.
The juror said the sixth charge was an “aggravated” battery because Smollett said the men were wearing masks. They couldn’t understand why that one charge was “aggravated” battery when Smollett had consistently mentioned the masks in all his accounts. In the end, their uncertainty meant they didn’t feel confident convicting on that one charge. In doing so, “we all thought we were doing Jussie a favor.”
The juror added, “I just hope that [Smollett and his attorneys] know that we went in there with an open mind. I listened to both sides. We wanted to make sure that those who had doubts didn’t feel pressured.”
“It wasn’t an easy decision. You’ve got the mother sitting there. You feel bad. We didn’t know what the penalty would be. Are we sending this guy to jail?” she said.
She added she hoped the actor is given probation instead of prison time.
Related: Brother in Smollett case denies homophobia, says he worked at gay club and Pride
I kinda wanted it to be real (but then who roots for a hate crime?) but I knew. Cam, yes I’m a right-wing troll who just changed my screen name. (not really, just wanted tp beat you to the punch)l
Nothing you said was weird, but then, as always, the right wing troll can’t do anything without it’s obsession with me coming to the forefront.
this screename was already called out in an earlier post, thanks for confirming.
And monitored your post….just like you do under all of your other screenames.
your troll game, as always, is sad and weak.
Well, If Cam said it, it must be the truth. He’s just like the internet, nothing but the truth. Monitor away Graham, I mean Cam. You are the one who exposes yourself. How does the average Queerty commenter monitor other commenters or determine they have multiple screennames, unless you have inside access to Queerty information?
He’s lucky the jury felt iffy on that 6th charge. I believe it was the more serious of them all.
I’m surprised he didn’t just plead, if they weren’t even going to put up the one defense witness they had it doesn’t sound like they were really confident in the case.
Smollet will just go on his way arguing his innocents while everyone knows he’s guilty as f*ck.
Narcissist’s have a real hard time telling you the truth. They just automatically expect everyone to believe whatever shit they tell them.
So instead, you choose to believe two thugs who were willing to “stage” an attack for money?
I really wanted Jussie to be innocent. But like the jury member said they wanted to hear from someone else to confirm the testimony. Perhaps the guy who called, knew something was up and didn’t want to face perjury charges by supporting Jussie. Sad that it happened. I didn’t like the other two in any way shape or form but if you’re going to defend yourself, you need some proof.
@Daddytop, apparently the jury believed them also. Strange how so many people only support the court system or other authorities when they agree with their findings.
I hope he will get a Netflix special like Colton Underwood
This just smacks of Tawana Brawley and her accusations against almost everyone in Dutchess County, NY. Does anyone else remember that? She accused the D.A., Cops and everyone she could think of. of raping her and leaving her in a bag of dog feces. Turned out to be a big hoax.
Someone who does this doesn’t deserve ANY SUPPORT from the Gay community. Reading some of these comments tells me not ALL Gay people are smart! One of the Nigerians he paid to stage this attack,was also his boyfriend! This guy has mental issues , keep him away from the public’s eye !
A career ruined, an emerging star self-destructs, for what? A bogus narrative for what: a bigger payout, riding the coattails of BLM, becoming a spokesperson for hate crimes and social injustice? Deeply sad and troubling that a fresh, new face of young black queer American would so stupidly squander it all.
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