Jussie Smollett trial LIVE – Don Lemon slammed over Empire and The Mighty Ducks star after Jurnee Smollett seen at court

DON Lemon has been slammed after Jussie Smollett testified during his trial that the CNN star had “tipped him off” about the public doubting that he was the victim of a hate crime.

Closing arguments in Jussie Smollett’s high-profile trial began today, after a controversial clash in the courtroom yesterday.

The actor and his sister Jurnee arrived arm-in-arm at court for the trial’s start.

Former Empire actor Smollett is accused of staging a racist, anti-gay attack against himself in downtown Chicago to get publicity.

Taking the witness stand earlier this week, Smollett repeatedly denied the attack was a fake, telling a prosecutor “there was no hoax on my part” and that two brothers who testified against him are “liars.”

In another tense moment, Smollett and prosecutor Dan Webb clashed over the use of the N-word.

Webb had read the messages from Smollett’s messages, which prompted the star to ask him not to do it.

Smollett, 39, is charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say was a false police report about the alleged attack — one count for each time he gave a report — to three different officers.

He could face up to three years behind bars, but experts have said if Smollett is convicted, he would likely be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.

Read our Jussie Smollett live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • What is Jussie Smollett’s net worth?

    Despite his exit from the FOX hit series Empire, Smollett has amassed a wealthy net worth for himself.

    According to Celebrity Net Worth, Smollett has an estimated net worth of $500,000.

  • Black Lives Matter supports Smollett

    The activist group released a statement in support of Jussie Smollett on Wednesday.

    The statement reads: “We can never believe police, especially the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over Jussie Smollett, a Black man who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom.”

  • Jussie Smollett and prosecutor clashed

    In a tense moment on the stand during the trial, Smollett and prosecutor Dan Webb clashed over the use of the N-word.

    Webb had read messages from Smollett, which prompted the star to ask him not to do it.

  • What happened to Jussie Smollett, continued

    However, the Chicago Police Department later said “the trajectory of the investigation” shifted after two men were released without charge.

    The two men, Nigerian brothers Abimbola ‘Abel’ and Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo, were later released after new evidence emerged during the investigation.

    Cops said they were no longer suspects in the case.

    They then re-interviewed Smollett for a follow-up, where the actor’s lawyers said he felt “victimized” by reports that he may have been involved in the attack.

    “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” a statement from law firm Todd Pugh and Victor P Henderson said at the time.

  • What happened to Jussie Smollett?

    Jussie Smollett was taken to the hospital in Chicago at 2am on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, after two men allegedly put a noose around his neck.

    The two unknown assailants, police said, began a “possible racially motivated” attack, yelling racial and gay slurs.

    The attacker was said to have hit him in the face, poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him, and wrapped a rope around his neck before fleeing, police said.

    Detectives previously released CCTV footage of the suspected attackers.

  • Who is Jussie Smollett?

    The 39-year-old actor is best known for his portrayal of musician Jamal Lyon in the Fox hip-hop musical drama series Empire, for which he received great acclaim.

    Smollett has also appeared in Ridley Scott’s science fiction film Alien: Covenant as Ricks, and in Marshall as Langston Hughes.

    He began his career as a child actor in 1987 starring in commercials and films, including The Mighty Ducks in 1992 and Rob Reiner’s North in 1994

  • Courtroom sketch of Jussie Smollett

    Some are calling into question whether the courtroom sketch of Jussie Smollett looks like him.

  • Smollett denies hoax on stand

    Taking the witness stand earlier this week, Smollett repeatedly denied the attack was a fake, telling a prosecutor “there was no hoax on my part” and that two brothers who testified against him are “liars.”

    The former Empire actor is accused of staging a racist, anti-gay attack against himself in downtown Chicago to get publicity.

  • Jury did not reach a verdict on Wednesday

    The judge has let the jury go home for the day at about 5.15 CT.

    Deliberations will continue on Thursday morning.

  • What are the charges?

    Smollett has been charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say was a false police report about the alleged attack — one count for each time he gave a report — to three different officers.

    If convicted, he could face up to three years behind bars.

  • Jury deliberations begin

    The jury started deliberating on Smollett’s trial on Wednesday afternoon.

  • Jussie Smollett’s previous run in with law

    In 2007, Smollett pleaded “no contest” to giving false information to law enforcement in a misdemeanor case.

    He also pleaded “no contest” to driving with a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit and without a valid driver’s license.

    The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office claimed that Smollett gave officers a false name and signed his brother’s name on the summons promising to appear in court, after a DUI stop.

    He was sentenced to a fine and given two years of probation.

  • Is Jussie Smollett biracial?

    Yes. His mother is African American, and his father was Jewish.

    Smollett has claimed that his father said he would “kill you if you called him white.”

  • Who are Jussie Smollett’s parents?

    The actor’s parents are known for helping their children thrive in the entertainment industry.

    Joel and Janet were both civil rights activists, and were happily married until Joel died of cancer in 2015.

  • More celebrities who supported Jussie Smollett

    Several more Hollywood stars responded in support of Jussie Smollett after he alleged that he was attacked in 2019.

  • Celebrities who rallied behind Juessie Smollett in 2019

    After news broke of Smollett’s alleged hate-filled attack, several notable figures stood behind him, offering their support for the actor.

  • Closing arguments today

    Closing arguments began Wednesday morning, after the trial kicked off last week.

    Jussie Smollett testified Tuesday that he did not stage a fake hate crime and lie to police in 2019.

  • Twitter reactions to non-televised trial

    Several are calling for the Jussie Smollett trial to be televised.

  • Is Jussie Smollett married?

    The former Empire actor has not been linked to anyone recently.

    Smollett came out as gay during an interview with Ellen Degeneres in 2015, but said in a 2016 interview that he believes that open love is more important than gender.

    “If I fall in love down the road with a woman, I’m going to love that woman,” he said in a 2016 interview with Out.

  • Does Jussie Smollett have any siblings?

    Smollett has three brothers and two sisters:  Jake, Jocqui, Jojo, Jurnee, and Jazz.

    Some of his siblings are reportedly actors as well.

  • Where is Jussie Smollett from?

    The actor was born in Santa Rose, California. His family moved to Queens, New York, when he was two years old, and then to Los Angeles, California when he was around seven.

    He began his acting career as a child model in New York City.

    Smollett graduated from high school in Paramus, New Jersey.

  • How much prison time can Jussie Smollet face?

    The former Empire actor could face up to three years behind bars if convicted.

    However, experts said they believe he would likely be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.

  • What did Lee Daniels say?

    In 2019, Empire creator Lee Daniels said “America is better than that” after the show’s star was injured in an alleged hate crime.

    He said the incident was “just another f***ing day in America” and urged the nation to improve.

    Speaking in a video on Instagram at the time, an emotional Daniels said: “You didn’t deserve, nor does anybody deserve, to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you, to be called ‘die  f***ing, n*****’ or whatever they said to you.

    “You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that,” he added.

    “It starts at home. We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are.”

  • When did the trial start?

    Smollett’s trial began on November 29, 2021.

    On the same day, attorneys for the actor made a final attempt to have the case dismissed but the judge denied the motion.

  • What roles is Jussie Smollett known for?

    The star began his career in Hollywood as a child actor appearing in films such as The Mighty Ducks and Rob Reiner’s North.

    However, Smollett is widely recognized for portraying musician Jamal Lyon in the show Empire.

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