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Jussie Smollett defense rests as actor calls alleged attackers 'liars'

Jussie Smollett defense rests as actor calls alleged attackers 'liars'
Actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday called the two brothers who say he paid them to stage a hate crime attack against him "liars" as his defense rested its case. File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Jussie Smollett's defense team rested its case Tuesday as the actor called the two men who said he paid them to stage a hate crime attack him "liars."

During about a week of testimony, brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo said Smollett, 39, paid them to attack him, instructing them to yell "this is MAGA country" in what prosecutors described as an attempt to gain public sympathy and settle a dispute about his security.

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Smollett, who took the stand in his own defense on Monday and Tuesday, denied any involvement in the attack, saying the brothers' story was untrue.

"They're liars," he said of the brothers Tuesday. "They also said I had something to do with it and I didn't."

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Prosecutor Dan Webb on Tuesday showed Smollett a photo of the staircase where the alleged 2019 attack took place, citing testimony from the Osundairos that it was where Smollett told them the attack would take place.

"I'm saying that's a bold-faced lie," Smollett said, while not denying that it was the site of the attack.

Webb also presented jurors a community alert sent out after the attack and asked whether Smollett told police the men in the picture were his attackers.

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"No, the police told me these were my attackers," he said.

"I doubted everything that they said," Smollett added. "They're liars."

Webb pressed Smollett on whether he said one of his attackers was White, to which the actor responded he initially told Chicago police detectives the attacker White but later changed the description to "pale skinned"

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Smollett also denied saying the attackers "acted or sounded White" saying police "changed my words about a lot of stuff."

"I didn't say he acted White, I'm saying I made the assumption," Smollett said, based on the fact that they said "MAGA" and used racial slurs against him.

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