Updated at 9:05 p.m.
CHICAGO — Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has testified that claims he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself are “100% false.”
Smollett took the stand Monday at his trial on charges that he lied to Chicago police about the January 2019 attack in downtown Chicago.
He refuted testimony from two brothers who said last week that Smollett, who is gay and Black, orchestrated the assault and paid them $3,500 to carry it out.
Smollett says the money was for meal plans and training because he wanted to get more toned. Asked by his attorney if he planned a hoax, Smollett said “there was no hoax.”
Updated at 12:21 p.m.
CHICAGO — Jussie Smollett has taken the witness stand at his trial where he is facing charges that he staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself and lied to Chicago police about it.
The former “Empire” actor is testifying Monday as the trial enters its second week and nears a finish.
Two brothers testified last week that Smollett, who is gay and Black, orchestrated the hoax to get publicity.
They said he paid them to fake the January 2019 attack in downtown Chicago.
Smollett’s attorneys have argued the attack was real and that the brothers made up the story about a hoax then asked the actor for $1 million each to not testify at trial.