Jussie Smollett’s Lawyers Make Shocking Allegation Against Judge Amid Attempt To Declare A Mistrial

Jussie Smollett’sIn the former, lawyers made a shocking accusation against the judge. Empire star’s case last week and tried to have a mistrial declared as a result. One of Smollett’s lawyers claimed that when she stepped over to the judge for a sidebar, the judge “lunged” at her. After an emotional argument with Smollett’s lawyer, the lawyer left the courtroom. Here’s a breakdown of what happened and why it came to such a dramatic conclusion. 

Background on Jussie’s Hate Crime Hoax

Jussie was once a rising star due to his important role in the musical drama EmpireStarring Taraji P. Henson as Terrence Howard, he began to lose his star power in early 2019. Smollett called the police from his apartment in Chicago and reported that he’d been the victim of a racial attack. As the investigation into the actor’s allegations went on, however, evidence emerged that indicated that Smollett himself had orchestrated the incident. 

Though the case has taken some twists and turns over the years, with Chicago officials infuriating many in the public after they announced they were dropping all charges against Smollett a few months after the alleged attack — a decision that was swiftly reversed — it finally got its day in court. 

Smollett has claimed that two of his brothers, who prosecutors say were paid by the actor for the fake attack, were homophobic. The defense claimed that one brother was a disgruntled ex partner who made up his claims. The investigation into Smollett’s alleged actions wasn’t without its drama, so it makes sense that the court case would follow suit. 

Courtroom tensions erupt

One of Smollett’s lawyers, Tamara Walker, was cross-examiningOlabinjo Osundairo (one of the brothers) was present when the tension with the judge began. Osundairo, now 30 years old, had just admitted to using the phrase “fruity ass” to describe a man he’d suspected was gay when Walker asked if Smollett, an openly gay man, knew he’d used the homophobic term in the past. 

Judge James Linn, who presides over the case, called the line of questioning “collateral” in front of the jury, meaning it didn’t have any relevance to Smollett’s alleged crimes because it was a past event. Walker requested a sidebar, which is when she alleges that Linn “lunged” at her. 

Judge Denies Defense’s Allegations

Walker presented the judge with a motion to declare a mistrial over his use of the word “collateral” and claimed he “physically lunged” at her, a claim which Linn vigorously denies. “When you said the word mistrial on these grounds, frankly I was stunned you’d even consider a mistrial based on this,” Linn said. He continued, “I marched right back behind my bench,” before adding that he did not lunge at Walker. 

After arguing with the judge over an unspecified time, during which Walker was openly emotionally charged, Walker left the courtroom along with her mother, who was also present. It’s unclear just what effect this dramatic moment will have on the case, though Judge Linn did later tell the jury to disregard his “collateral” comment. “Sometimes words come out like ‘focus’ or ‘collateral,’ that’s not part of your consideration, that’s just me communicating with the lawyers,” Linn explained. As the case progresses in court, we will continue to monitor it.

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