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Crime CNN Faces Calls to Fire Don Lemon Over Jussie Smollett's Court Testimony

12:50  08 december  2021
12:50  08 december  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Trial set to start on charges Smollett faked racist attack

  Trial set to start on charges Smollett faked racist attack CHICAGO (AP) — A popular actor steps out onto the street and is brutally reminded that, despite his fame and wealth, places still exist where the color of his skin and sexual orientation put him in danger. That was the story that ricocheted around the world after Jussie Smollett, a Black and openly gay actor, reported to Chicago police that he was the victim of a hate crime. Nearly three years later, Smollett is about to stand trial on charges that he staged the whole thing. He was charged with felony disorderly conduct after law enforcement and prosecutors said he lied to police about what happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2019, in downtown Chicago.

Jussie Smollett , on trial for allegedly staging a hate crime against himself, testified Monday that he had correspondence with CNN 's Don Lemon during the early parts of the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) investigation into the incident. Smollett , 39, testified that he received a text from Lemon , supposedly relaying information that the CPD didn’t believe Smollett ' s account of what Monday’ s court testimony also saw Smollett testify that an interview he gave to "Good Morning America" was heavily edited. Jussie smollett 'A real victim' of attack in chicago, lawyer argues.

During his testimony in front of court Monday, Smollett testified that he had correspondence with Lemon during the early parts of the Chicago Police Department' s investigation into a supposed racist and homophobic hate crime committed against him, Fox News reported. Yet during CNN ' s Monday night coverage of the trial, neither Lemon nor network reporter Omar Jimenez said so much as a single word about it. At 10-to-midnight, @ DonLemon and @OmarJimenez finally discuss the Jussie Smollett trial.

Don Lemon is facing scrutiny, after Jussie Smollett testified that the CNN anchor sent him a text message to warn him that police didn't believe his allegations about having been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.

CNN anchor Don Lemon (R) is facing scrutiny after Jussie Smollett (L) testified on Monday that the newsman sent him a text message to warn him that police did not believe his account of having been racially attacked back in 2019. © E. JASON WAMBSGANS/AFP via Getty Images;/Michael Loccisano/WireImage CNN anchor Don Lemon (R) is facing scrutiny after Jussie Smollett (L) testified on Monday that the newsman sent him a text message to warn him that police did not believe his account of having been racially attacked back in 2019.

Former Empire star Smollett is currently standing trial amid accusations he orchestrated his own attack on the streets of Chicago back in 2019, during which he alleged that two men poured bleach on him and tied a noose around his neck.

Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack

  Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett goes to trial Monday on charges that he lied to Chicago police when the former “Empire” actor and R&B singer reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack nearly three years ago. Some key moments in the story: Jan. 22, 2019 — Smollett receives a racist and homophobic threatening letter at the studio in Chicago where "Empire" is filmed. Police later say they believe Smollett sent the letter himself. Jan. 29, 2019— Jussie Smollett tells police he was attacked by two men in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m.

CNN host Don Lemon is getting blasted for covering his pal Jussie Smollett ' s trial on his late-night show — without mentioning his own central role in tipping off the "Empire" star that he was being investigated by police. The testimony quickly sparked comparisons between Lemon and his former CNN “brother” Chris Cuomo, who over the weekend was fired for his own meddling in his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal. But while Cuomo refused to report on his brother’s scandal, Lemon ended his Monday night show with a story on the latest news from the ex-“Empire”

Related: Jussie Smollett ’ s Takes the Stand and His Story Goes From Ridiculous to Outrageous. One month after the alleged hoax crime, Lemon told Jada Pinkett on her Red Table Top program that he reached out to Smollett after the attack because “I wasn’t shocked. The New York Post reported that Smollett told the court “he first knew that police doubted his race-hate attack was real after getting a text message from Lemon , saying that was key in his decision not to hand his phone records over to cops.” Lemon , who’s covering the trial on his CNN show, didn’t mention that he was the guy who told

In a Chicago courtroom on Monday, the actor testified that Lemon contacted him to relay the message that the Chicago Police Department did not believe his account of what had happened on the night in question.

While Lemon has yet to address that particular part of Smollett's testimony on the air, the development has sparked outrage among a number of conservative commentators, who have called on CNN to dismiss the newsman over the allegations.

Alt-right activist Jack Posobiec pulled up a tweet from February 2019, which stated that Lemon had been texting Smollett "every day" since the alleged attack, as he added: "Today we found out Don Lemon was helping Jussie obstruct justice."

"More activism by an 'anchor' at CNN," wrote The Hill columnist Joe Concha. "The network needs to now address this publicly as well. These texts from Lemon to Smollett came during an active high-profile investigation. CNN mum thus far."

Jussie Smollett trial begins with jury selection in Chicago on Monday

  Jussie Smollett trial begins with jury selection in Chicago on Monday The actor Jussie Smollett has denied for more than two years he lied about being the victim of a hate crime. Starting Monday, he and his lawyers will fight the accusations at trial.The long road in the Jussie Smollett case finally reaches trial Monday in Chicago, more than two years after police first alleged the actor lied about being the victim of a hate crime and wrongfully diverted weeks of investigative manpower.

( CNN ) Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett took the stand in his criminal trial Monday in a high-stakes attempt to rebut charges that he staged a fake hate crime and lied to Chicago Police about it in January 2019. Last week, brothers "Bola" and "Ola" Osundairo testified that Smollett , who is Black and gay, directed Their testimony , as well as that of five Chicago police investigators, formed the core of the prosecution' s case against Smollett . But under oath Monday, Smollett offered testimony over five hours in which he denied orchestrating the attack and suggested the brothers -- whom he knew from

In other developments: - Jussie Smollett wraps day of testimony claiming attack was 'no hoax' - Jussie Smollett should have pleaded 'insanity' in Chicago court : Candace Owens - Chris Cuomo, CNN 'lawyering up' ahead of brewing million legal battle over firing : reports - Joe Rogan torches CNN amid Chris Cuomo Former Crumbley neighbor called Children' s Protective Services on parents years ago: report Law enforcement and prosecutors have noted the many warnings signs that preceded the massacre at Oxford High School last week, including that 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley was caught

Conservative political commentator and author Nick Adams also chimed in on the matter, tweeting: "If Don Lemon tipped off Jussie Smollett about police investigating the hate crime hoax, CNN should fire him immediately!"

"After Jussie Smollett's testimony that Don Lemon tipped him off to the Chicago PD not believing his story... he should be the next to get tanked from CNN," wrote comedian and author Tim Young.

Nicholas Fondacaro, deputy managing editor of the Media Research Center, a nonprofit conservative watchdog, shared a video clip from Lemon's CNN show, which aired hours after the testimony.

"At 10-to-midnight,@DonLemon and @OmarJimenez finally discuss the Jussie Smollett trial," wrote Fondacaro. "But neither 'journalist' mentioned how Smollett testified under oath that Lemon tipped him off to police skepticism of his hoax claims. The whole segment lasted 5 minutes and 7 seconds."

Jussie Smollett Trial: Brothers Allegedly Hired to Stage Attack to Appear in Court

  Jussie Smollett Trial: Brothers Allegedly Hired to Stage Attack to Appear in Court Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo—known as Abel and Ola—have alleged that Jussie Smollett orchestrated and paid them for his own attack at their hands.Former Empire star Smollett had alleged that in January 2019, he was attacked by two men who doused him with bleach and placed a noose around his neck as they yelled that he was in "MAGA country," in apparent reference to former President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again.

Smollett testified that CNN star Don Lemon warned him that cops didn't believe he was the victim of a racist homophobic attackCredit: Getty. Smollett , 39, claimed that he was taken to hospital, alleging two men put a noose around his neck. At the time, police said the assailants hurled “possible racial and gay slurs”. Abimbola told the court that he participated in the hoax attack because he thought Smollett could advance his acting career, according to the Post. He said: “He explained that he wanted to fake beat him up. I agreed to do it because most importantly, I felt indebted to him, to Jussie .

Actor Jussie Smollett and CNN ' s Don Lemon are seen attending the Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit in New York in this file photo from June 2018. CNN fired Cuomo on Saturday. Smollett faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports to police about the incident. In its reporting on the Lemon - Smollett connection, the New York Post noted that on Monday night, Lemon ’ s show included a report on the Smollett trial without mentioning that Smollett had fingered Lemon for trying to help him.

Christian conservative writer Carmine Sabia also weighed in on the matter, opining: "Jussie Smollett has admitted that CNN anchor Don Lemon warned him that police were suspicious of his story. CNN does not have journalists. It has activists. Time for @DonLemon to follow @ChrisCuomo."

Lemon's former colleague Chris Cuomo was dismissed by CNN on Saturday after it was reported that he had attempted to intervene and aid his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as he faced dozens of sexual assault allegations.

Jussie Smollett Trial: Previously Dismissed Charges Could Help His Case—Attorney

  Jussie Smollett Trial: Previously Dismissed Charges Could Help His Case—Attorney Criminal defense lawyer Julie Rendelman speaks to Newsweek about how strong the case against Jussie Smollett is.The actor had claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on the streets of Chicago back in January 2019. Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo later alleged that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack as part of a bid to be paid more money on his show, Empire.

At the time that the attack allegations first came to light, Lemon informed viewers that the story was of "personal" significance to him as he and the actor were acquaintances. He also shared that he had been in regular contact with Smollett.

However, while Lemon stated that Smollett is "innocent until proven guilty," he added that the actor and musician will have "squandered the good will of a whole lot of people" if it transpired that his account was untrue.

"He even lied to a lot of people... including me. And that's not cool," Lemon had said, per Fox News. "He squandered the good will of very high-profile people who one day may be running this country like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and people like President Trump."

Prosecutors to begin case against Jussie Smollett in Chicago

  Prosecutors to begin case against Jussie Smollett in Chicago CHICAGO (AP) — Testimony is set to begin Tuesday in the trial of ex-“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who prosecutors say staged a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago but whose defense attorney says is “a real victim” of a “real crime.” Special prosecutor Dan Webb told jurors during opening statements late Monday that Smollett recruited two brothers — who worked with him on the TV show — to help him carry out a fake attack in January 2019 because he believed the television studio didn’t take hate mail he had received seriously.

Newsweek has contacted representative of CNN and Lemon for comment.

Smollett has been accused of paying brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo $3,500 to help stage the alleged attack. The actor's defense team has claimed that the brothers asked for $1 million each to not testify that the alleged attack was a hoax.

The star is charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say was a false police report.

Should he be found guilty of the class 4 felony, Smollett faces up to three years in prison, though legal analysts have projected that he is more likely to receive a community service order.

Attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, center, walks with her clients Abimbola Osundairo, left, and Olabinjo Osundairo, right, as they arrive at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse to testify in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Chicago. Smollett is accused of lying to police when he reported he was the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago nearly three years ago. The man trailing the trio identified himself as a bodyguard. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo © Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo Attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, center, walks with her clients Abimbola Osundairo, left, and Olabinjo Osundairo, right, as they arrive at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse to testify in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Chicago. Smollett is accused of lying to police when he reported he was the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago nearly three years ago. The man trailing the trio identified himself as a bodyguard. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

Related Articles

  • Jussie Smollett Defense Rests After Actor Claims Attack Was 'No Hoax' During Cross Examination
  • Brothers Tried to Get Jussie Smollett to Pay Them $1M to Not Testify, Defense Lawyer Says
  • Jussie Smollett Initially Uncooperative, Upset Camera Didn't Record Attack: Detective
  • Jussie Smollett's Court Claims Apparently Mocked by Accuser Abimbola Osundairo

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Jussie Smollett trial: Actor was found guilty of falsely reporting a hate crime. Here's what comes next .
Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty Thursday on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports to police that he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019. © Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Actor Jussie Smollett (center) returns to the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Thursday in Chicago, and was found guilty on five of six counts. His defense team said it will appeal the verdict. Jurors deliberated over the course of two days following a trial that featured Smollett and his accomplices providing strikingly different testimony over what occurred.

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