Jussie Smollett testified in his own defense on day 5 of his hate crime hoax trial in Chicago on Monday.
Smollett, 39, faces six felony counts of lying to police — charges that carry a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison for each count if convicted.
Instead of having a come-to-Jesus moment and showing some remorse on the witness stand, a smug Smollett lied under oath and said “there was no hoax.”
He claimed he really was attacked by Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo on that chilly night in February 2019.
Smollett originally told police he was attacked by two white supremacists who called him a gay slur, tied a “noose” around his neck and poured bleach on him. He claimed they yelled Chicago was “MAGA country.”
Smollett said he kept the thin clothesline around his neck when officers arrived at his apartment because his creative director Frank Gaston “told me to put the stuff back on as to not mess with the evidence.”
The disgraced actor said he hesitated to call police after the alleged attack because he was concerned over how it might impact his career.
“I want to play a boxer, I want to play a superhero, I want to blow stuff up. The moment I got beat I became a f****t who got his ass whooped.”
He said he lost his livelihood because of all the bad publicity.
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Smollett also testified that he declined to hand over his cell phone to investigators because CNN anchor Don Lemon sent him a text message saying Chicago police didn’t believe his story.
On Saturday, CNN fired its troubled host Chris Cuomo for helping his disgraced brother Andrew Cuomo dig up dirt on his sexual harassment accusers.
However, CNN is standing by Chris Cuomo’s pal, anchor Don Lemon who has his own sexual harassment case to worry about.
Lemon is accused of “vigorously” fondling a man’s genitalia during a drunken incident at a Long Island bar in 2018.
Dustin Hice (left) said he turned down three settlement offers from Lemon and CNN.
In response to Cuomo’s termination, Hice called CNN “a predator protecting machine.” He added, “They’re a network rife with predators and perverts.”
Lemon, 55, acknowledged texting Jussie Smollet “every day” in an episode of Red Table Talk in 2019.
“So every day I say… ‘I know you think I’m annoying you, but I just want to know how you’re doing. And that you’re OK. And that if you need somebody you can talk to me because there’s not a lot of us [Black openly gay public figures] out there,’” Lemon said. “Sometimes he responds, sometimes he doesn’t. He responded and said, ‘You are not annoying.’”
Lemon explained his experience as an openly gay Black man in America.
“I’ve had fear recently because of the political environment. I get death threats… I have security,” Lemon said. “All of these things that happen. Listen, we’ve always been divided ideologically, but there’s something different going on now.”
But Lemon turned on his former friend and called him a liar in 2019.
“He even lied to a lot of people… including me. And that’s not cool,” he told his viewers.
Lemon said Smollett had “lost the fight in the court of public opinion.”
“He lost because — not his fault. Maybe people were — I don’t know what they were saying to him, maybe because of his representatives. Who knows? But it was handled poorly.”