Jussie Smollett vows to ‘fight or die’ as he asserts innocence in fake hate crime case
Jussie Smollett has said he will “fight or die” in order to proclaim his innocence.
Two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, told police that they were paid by Smollett to stage the attack in January 2019 – in which two unidentified men attacked him, used homophobic and racist slurs and looped a noose around his neck.
Charges against Smollett for filing false police reports were dropped last March 2019, but the disorderly conduct case was revived in January.
Jussie Smollett: I’m not claiming to be innocent, I am innocent
On his way to court to plead not guilty, Smollett insisted the ”truth” will free him.
He told reporters: “The truth is the best defense. The truth, which they know nothing about.”
Smollett added: ”It is definitely frustrating but you just gotta, it’s fight or die at this point, right. I don’t claim to be innocent, I am innocent.”
The actor, who has long maintained his innocence, was released on a $20,000 bond ahead if a court appearance on March 18.
Actor’s attorneys seek dismissal of case
His attorneys are seeking a stay in the prosecution and the dismissal of special prosecutor who has been appointed in the case.
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In court filings, they argued that the charges “did not reach the legal level warranting the appointment of a special prosecutor.”
Smollett’s lawyers also say that the case violates his right to not be charged twice with the same crime – the principle known as double jeopardy.
Attorney Tina Glandian told CBS: “One of the protections that the double jeopardy clause provides is not to punish somebody twice for the same offence.
“Previously, he did forfeit his bond in the amount of $10,000. That in essence was a punishment stemming from the criminal proceedings, and therefore trying to punish him again a second time around is not permitted under the double jeopardy clause.
“You don’t just get a do over.”
However, prosecutors insist double jeopardy does not apply because Smollett was not originally prosecuted.