Jussie Smollett trial: Text message sent from 'Empire' actor to Osundairo brother presented to jury

The first day of testimony in the trial of Jussie Smollett has come to a close. A point of focus in the courtroom Tuesday, Nov. 30, was a text message sent by Smollett to one of two men originally questioned by police.

The jury was released just before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night, after hearing hours of testimony from three witnesses. Jurors also watched police body camera video from the night in question.

Smollett faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct. Prosecutors say the actor staged a hate crime against himself in January 2019. The defense argues that Smollett is the victim, and was the target of a scam.

Smollett's brother, JoJo, is standing by the former Empire star.

"It has been incredibly painful as his family to see him be accused of something he didn’t do. We’re confident in his legal team and we look forward to people hearing the actual facts in this case. We love him. We’re here to support him, all of us, and to lift him up," said JoJo Smollett.

On Tuesday, the state called Chicago Police Detective Michael Theis, CPD Officer Muhammad Baig and CPD Supervising Sgt. Joseph Consdine to the stand.


In court, a text message was revealed to the jury. It was sent from Smollett to one of two Osundairo brothers, who a detective says eventually admitted to helping Smollett fake the attack.

The text message read, in part: "I stand with you and know you and your brother did nothing wrong."

Smollett went on to say in the text that he would make a statement on the Osundairo brothers’ behalf – something he did not do.

While the defense cross-examined Det. Theis, who was on the stand for more than eight hours, Smollett’s attorneys did not question the second or third witnesses of the day – who were also with CPD.

The jury is slated to return to the Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday. The judge hopes to have the trial finished by the end of the week.