CHICAGO – Jussie Smollett is “one hundred pc assured” he can be cleared by an appeals court docket on charges he staged a hate crime, his legal professional proclaimed Thursday.
The feedback got here shortly after a Chicago felony court docket jury delivered a responsible verdict in opposition to the ex-“Empire” actor, who had claimed he was attacked in 2019 by two Donald Trump supporters who tied a noose round his neck and splashed bleach on him whereas hurling racist and anti-gay slurs.
“We really feel one hundred pc assured that this case can be gained on attraction,” Nenye Uche, lead legal professional for the protection, mentioned. “Sadly, that’s not the route we needed however generally that’s the route you need to take to win, particularly a case the place we stay one hundred pc assured in our consumer’s innocence.”
Smollett was discovered responsible on 5 of six felony prices of disorderly conduct for submitting a false police report.
“He’s a human being, he’s disenchanted — however I’ll let you know this I’m very happy with him, I’m very, very happy with him,” Uche mentioned. “He’s holding up very sturdy he’s dedicated to clearing his identify and he’s one hundred pc assured that he’s going to get cleared by the appellate court docket.”
Smollett, 39, was accused of staging the Jan. 29, 2019 assault with brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo to garner consideration amid heightened racial tensions within the nation. Smollett, who’s black and overtly homosexual, contended he was an actual sufferer of a hate crime.
Prosecutors mentioned Smollett paid the Osundairos $3,500 for the assault and deliberate out each facet of the hoax, all the way down to the precise homophobic and racial slurs he needed the brothers to make use of and the way onerous they need to throw their punches.
The protection tried to poke holes within the brothers’ credibility and Smollett testified he had paid $3,500 to Abimbola for private coaching companies, nothing else. Within the hours earlier than the assault, Smollett admitted he despatched 4 texts a couple of delayed flight to Abimbola however testified it was as a result of the 2 deliberate to work out collectively that night time, dying he was coordinating with him forward of the ruse.
Uche referred to as Smollett’s conviction inconsistent as a result of he was discovered not responsible on solely one of many six counts in opposition to him, stemming from allegedly mendacity to police in a second interview in February 2019 — weeks after his preliminary grievance. The opposite prices he was convicted on had been associated to lies he made throughout his preliminary interviews with police on the day of the assault.
“Jussie was not accused of doing two various things and he was accused of doing one factor, and charged a number of instances for a similar incident, a jury can not come out and say responsible of mendacity, however not responsible of mendacity,” Uche mentioned. “It doesn’t make sense.
The legal professional lamented the scrutiny on the case from its begin and the way it could have affected the result.
“From the primary day of this case, his case has been prejudged, his case has been tried within the media, and it’s unlucky, that is america of America,” Uche mentioned. “We reside in a constitutional democracy the place everyone seems to be presumed harmless however clearly, if we’re being sincere, that hasn’t been the case.”
“However we’re assured in our appellate system, we’re assured in our Illinois Supreme Court docket and we’re assured that on the finish of the day, what’s on the market within the information media, and within the gossip boards will not be going to face an opportunity in court docket.”