The trial of Jussie Smollett, the actor accused of faking a hate crime in early 2019, is underway, and it’s been even more of a circus than the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. On Monday, the former Empire performer took the stand, and what he said was shocking. For one, he admitted that he got high, hooked up with, and even masturbated with one of his alleged attackers. On Tuesday, Smollett was back in the hot seat, grilled by a top shelf prosecutor, and it did not go well.
That prosecutor was Dan Webb, whose CV includes playing a key role in the Iran-Contra affair in the ‘80s, even doing a desposition with no less than then-president Ronald Reagan. He delivered what The Daily Beast called a “masterclass in how to zero in on details and seal the deal,” zeroing in on what happened during the attack in the wee hours of Jan 29, 2019. Throughout the cross-examination, it was clear Webb had succeeded in getting under Smollett’s skin.
Webb has insisted that Smollett, who had claimed that his attackers were white and MAGA, tried to weaponize race as part of his claim, as per the Beast:
“Did you think by saying that the people that attacked you were white, it would lend credibility to a fake hate crime?” Webb asked.
Smollett replied curtly: “You’d have to ask someone that did a fake hate crime.”
At one point, Webb dug in on evidence that Smollett had repeatedly driven around in a car with his attackers, brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, by the area they would later attack him:
“Do you have any reason to disagree with police testimony that you passed by the intersection three times?” Webb asked.
“I don’t know,” Smollett replies. “I circled around the block.”
“How long were you there?”
“Well you have the surveillance, you have to tell me,” Smollett snapped back. “It was three years ago.”
Webb also inquired about the marks left on his face by the attack:
As Webb wrapped up his questioning, he asked Smollett if “getting a few bruises” had really impacted his acting career.
“Mr. Webb, I have a scar under my eye that looks like a bag for the rest of my life,” Smollett replied, while also mentioning a “black circle” on his face. “It’s absolutely a problem.”
Webb then showed Smollett a photo of him during his controversial Feb. 2019 Good Morning America interview with Robin Roberts a few weeks after the attack. In the photo, Smollett did not appear to have any of the markings he’d just described on the stand.
(Via The Daily Beast)