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.”
Allen made a claim that Osundairo was in a relationship with Smollett at one point. He then asked Allen when the two began dating.
“We were never dating,” said Osundairo, wearing a white button-down shirt, black vest and leather jacket with a popped collar.
Smollett was dressed in black and he looked across the room.
On Wednesday, Osundairo told jurors he and Smollett had gone 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 the spa.
“I don’t recall,” Osundairo said.
“You don’t 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 that 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.
Defense claims that the attackers were real because they are homophobic or tried to scare Osundairo into hiring him as his security guard, earning $5,000 per month.
Smollett faces six felonies of disorderly conduct, including lying to the police. If convicted, he will spend three years behind bars.
Early Thursday afternoon, Osundairo’s brother Olabinjo began his testimony as the prosecution’s next witness.