It was recently reported that actor Jussie Smollett arrived for court to hear his sentencing when it appeared that one of his bodyguards assaulted a journalist.
As Smollett was entering the courthouse a reporter for CBS Chicago was asking the actor what he had to say on Thursday.
But as reporters surrounded him it appeared that there was a scuffle and one of the journalists was shoved to the ground.
“That’s called a battery,” someone shouted.
“You just knocked a man over,” someone else said.
“As you see, his bodyguards are getting a little bit violent with the, as he approaches the building late,” a reporter said. “He just tossed a photographer down.”
Donald Trump Poll
"*" indicates required fields
Smollett, who is Black and gay, told Chicago police that on a frigid night in January 2019 two unknown men attacked him, yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him and wrapped a noose around his neck.
Chicago police investigated the case as a possible hate crime but soon determined the actor orchestrated the incident. They said he paid two brothers he knew from the Fox drama “Empire” to stage the incident for publicity.
The brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, were among seven witnesses for the prosecution at the trial. They testified that Smollett directed them and paid them to stage the attack in an attempt to garner sympathetic media coverage.
They said that they fake punched him, poured bleach on him, put a noose around his neck and used racist and homophobic slurs – because he told them to.
Smollett testified in his own defense and said he paid the brothers only for training advice and nutritional tips. He cast doubt on their true motivations and said he had a sexual relationship with one of the brothers, which the brother denied.
After he was convicted, the actor’s attorney, Nenye Uche, said that he disagreed with the verdict and predicted his client would win on appeal.
“He (Smollett) is 100% confident that this will be reversed on appeal,” he said. “At the end of the day, we believe justice will prevail. We don’t believe it was done (in December) but we’re very confident that he will be cleared and he will be found to be innocent.”
The actor had no prior convictions which is one reason his bond was not revoked, and a reason that former Cook County prosecutor Darren O’Brien predicted that Smollett would not face a prison sentence.