Jussie Smollett’s ‘Empire’ character cut after attack allegedly staged by cast member

By JOSH DAWSEY and MELIZA CORTES, CNN

The last piece of testimony comes in the trial against a three men accused of attacking “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

That testimony came from two brothers, Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who helped a police officer in a series of questioning that culminated in them admitting Smollett paid them to stage the attack.

Smollett’s character on the FOX show was cut from the final two episodes of the season, which ended in May.

A Tribune Media review of Nielsen’s US rankings for Smollett’s character found that Empire cut “Jussie Smollett’s Jamal Tipton” episodes from the May 22, 2018, to May 15, 2019, episode order by 31%. The most recent episode, “Mindy Project,” was broadcast May 15, but, according to the Tribune Media review, there was no Jamal Tipton.

On Friday afternoon, the brothers testified against Smollett and expressed regret for their decision to help fake the attack.

“He asked us to do something bad, and we did it,” one of the brothers said.

During testimony, they recalled the moment they learned Smollett allegedly hired them to stage the attack in January.

“He was laughing,” one of the brothers said. “He said he was doing it.”

“That’s the moment we knew it was a hoax,” another of the brothers added.

The Osundairo brothers testified about the most important evidence in the case: A 2-foot-long rope, some of which they allegedly found at the scene and some of which they purchased on the internet, that Smollett said was used to rope him.

The brothers also recounted the phone call they made to Smollett from jail.

“He said he’s happy we did it,” one of the brothers said.

Later on, the brother who initially drove Smollett to a police station testified he was convinced the actor had called him after the alleged attack to scare him.

“I was a little surprised he wanted to call me,” he said. “It made me feel weird.”

The two later left their jobs at Subway to go to work for Smollett.

The younger brother and Smollett’s assistant later testified that they noticed changes in Smollett before they left their jobs.

“He had a haircut and his voice was different,” the assistant said.

They claimed they were told to stay in his apartment overnight by Smollett, and for hours they listened to music on his phone.

The assistant said Smollett became physically agitated at the end of the night, and that he had burns on his back, and that he seemed “angry.”

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