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Jussie Smollett’s defense argues prosecution star witness is a disgruntled ex-lover

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CHICAGO — Jussie Smollett’s defense team unleashed a brutal, cross-examination of the prosecution’s star witness Thursday alleging the pair were dating, had masturbated together at a gay bathhouse and the attack was fueled by a desire to be the actor’s security guard. 

Abimbola Osundairo, 28, sat on the witness stand for a second day in a row at Chicago criminal court and was grilled for two hours by Smollett’s defense attorney Shay Allen on day four of the trial.

Allen tried to paint Osundairo as a liar, drug dealer and opportunist who used his relationship with Smollett to further his career and told the star he’d make this “all go away” and not testify if he paid him and his brother, Olabinjo, $1 million each. 

“You told him if he gave you and your brother a million dollars each, you wouldn’t testify?” Allen asked Osundairo, who responded “No.”  

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At the start of the cross-examination, Allen tried to make the claim that Smollett and Osundairo had a sexual relationship together by suddenly asking when he and the actor started dating. 

Abimbola Osundairo was immediately painted as a disgruntled lover who wanted to be the actor’s security guard by Jussie Smollett’s lawyer.
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

“We were never dating,” said Osundairo, wearing a white button-down shirt, black vest and leather jacket with a popped collar. 

From across the room, Smollett, dressed in a black suit, averted his gaze. 

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On Wednesday, Osundairo told jurors he and Smollett had went to the Steamworks bathhouse together in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, a predominately gay community, and on Thursday, Allen asked if gay pornography was played on the televisions inside of the spa. 

“I don’t recall,” Osundairo said. 

“You dont recall seeing gay pornography?… You don’t remember masturbating with him?” Allen fired back. 

Osundairo said “No.” 

The attorney then asked if Smollett had a crush on him and if he thought “sexual tension” between the two would progress his acting career. Osundairo responded that he “didn’t know” there was sexual tension. 

Allen attempted to bring up that homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria where the brothers have strong ties and that Osundairo previously called someone on the set of “Empire” a “fa—t” to potentially make the claim the hate crime was real and fueled by homophobia, but the prosecution successfully objected to the questions. 

Osundairo and his brother are at the center of the tawdry maelstrom as the prosecution’s star witnesses after they told police Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the hate crime, turning the actor from a victim into a suspect. 

Jussie Smollett (center) arrives at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on day four of his trial in Chicago.
Jussie Smollett (center) arrives at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on day four of his trial in Chicago.
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Abimbola Osundairo (left) and his brother are the prosecution’s star witnesses after they told police Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the hate crime.
Abimbola Osundairo (left) and his brother are the prosecution’s star witnesses after they told police Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the hate crime.

The defense claims the attack was real and carried out because the brothers are homophobic, or wanted to scare him into hiring Osundairo as his security guard for a $5,000 monthly salary. 

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Smollett is facing six felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police and if convicted, faces three years in jail.

Early Thursday afternoon, Osundairo’s brother Olabinjo began his testimony as the prosecution’s next witness. 

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