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Jussie Smollett Testifies At His Trial: 'There Was No Hoax'

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Courthouse after his court appearance on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Courthouse after his court appearance on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  

Photographer: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images North America
Updated on

Chicago (AP) -- Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett denied Monday that he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself, testifying at his trial that “there was no hoax" and that he was the victim of a hate crime in his downtown Chicago neighborhood.

Smollett, who faces charges that he lied to Chicago police about the January 2019 attack, sought to refute damaging testimony from two brothers last week. They said Smollett, who is gay and Black, orchestrated the hoax to get publicity, giving them $100 for supplies and instructing them to place a noose around his neck and yell homophobic slurs. They also said Smollett gave them a $3,500 check to carry it out.