Published: Tue, March 12, 2019
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Jussie Smollett lawyer: Cameras in court would expose state’s flimsy case

Jussie Smollett lawyer: Cameras in court would expose state’s flimsy case

"I believe my clients were betrayed", Gloria Schmidt said on CNN's "AC 360", referring to brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo.

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has appeared in Cook County court Tuesday morning for a hearing on whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom on the criminal charges he faces.

Each count covers various alleged acts that Smollett falsely described to the officers-including that he was hit by two men, that they yelled racial and homophobic slurs and poured a chemical on him.

On Friday, a Chicago grand jury hit the singer with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for fabricating the alleged January 29 attack during which he claims two masked white males beat him up and hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him and doused him with bleach.

In a statement released to People, the 36-year-old actor's attorney, Mark Geragos, said, "The fact of an indictment is not unexpected".

Smollett has denied any involvement in orchestrating an attack.

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"They were paid for the training. but they were also asked to do this favor for him", she told the anchor.

The actor, who is African-American and openly gay, has said he was walking from a Subway sandwich shop to his apartment in the 300 block of East North Water Street about 2 a.m. January 29 when two men walked up, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him and wrapped a noose around his neck.

Schmidt sidestepped answering direct questions from Cooper about the $3,500. It was cashed; it was deposited.

Schmidt said her clients' cooperation with police is why police began investigating Smollett for staging the attack.

"You have to look at they were friends and the money did include services for training, but you have to look at it within the context of 'I'm this star and you're someone who I can help and I would like to pay you for something and oh, can you do me this favor.' So was it for training? I think it's a little bit of both", she said.

Schmidt insists her clients did not commit a hate crime but they certainly feel betrayed by the entertainer.

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