Abimbola Osondaero, also known as “Bola,” said the “Empire” representative’s comment was baffling.
“I was baffled,” Osondaero continued. “Then he explained to me that he wanted me to hit him in a fake fashion.”
Osundairo said he agreed to do so because he felt indebted to the actor.
“I thought it could help advance my acting career,” Osondaero testified. “He told me we would need someone else to pretend to beat him. He mentioned that my brother could do it. So I said yes.”
He said the discussion took place in a car while Smollett was driving home from near his Chicago studio for the show.
The court was adjourned today at 7 p.m., with Osundairo remaining on the stage. He has not been questioned by his defense attorney, but is expected to happen Thursday morning after a court appeal at 9:15 a.m. ET (10:15 a.m. ET).
Smollett, who is black and gay, said two men beat him, shouted anti-gay and racist comments, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him.
Authorities argued evidence, including texts and accounts from Osundairo and his brother, Olabinjo, that Smollett paid the couple $3,500 to launch a hate crime attack against him so he could gain publicity and advance his career.
Smollett has pleaded not guilty to six counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing false reports to police that he was the victim of a hate crime.
Neither brother was charged with a crime.
In 2019, a Smollett attorney said he paid the two brothers for coaching services and nutritional advice.
Testimony at Smollett’s trial began on Tuesday with police officers who described an intense investigation into the case.
Osundairo: The plan was discussed while standing in an alley
Abimbola Osundairo testified on Wednesday that after the two eventually returned to the Osundairo residence, they were stopped in an alley as Olabengo Osundairo came out to join them in the car.
“We’ve gone over the details of what he wants us to say and do,” Abimbola Osondaero told the jurors.
Smollett allegedly told him to say, “Empire, Sanctuary, Maga” and then the conversation moved to the physical aspect, he said.
“He wanted me to attack him, but he wanted me to pull the punch so as not to hurt him, and give him a bruise,” Osondairo testified. Osundairo testified in his testimony that the final part of the plan would be to “pour bleach on him and then run away.”
“Who was responsible for this thing?” asked Special Prosecutor Daniel Webb.
“Josie Kant,” Osondaero told the jury.
Osondaero told Webb that Smollett “wanted to use the fake attack or camera footage for the media.”
He said Smollett also told the brothers not to take a sharing trip to where they were planning to meet so there was no record of their trip.
Osundairo testified that although he wasn’t expecting to pay for Smollett’s help orchestrating the attack, the actor still gave him a check for $3,500.
“If he hadn’t given you money, would you attack for nothing?” asked Webb.
“Yes,” Osondairo replied, saying that Smollett was like a brother and he felt indebted to the actor.
Osondaero also told the jury that Smollett had instructed him to write a letter in the days following the reported attack in an effort to show sympathy.
“I was supposed to send him a letter of condolence to show that I am not a part of this,” he said.
Osondaero also told the jury that he and Smollett shared private messages on Instagram on the night of the attack and the actor updated him on the status of his delayed flight to Chicago.
He said the delay pushed the alleged attack back into the early morning hours of January 29.
Osundairo testified that his brother left for Nigeria later on the 29th and was called by Smollett to ask if he and his brother were still on their way.
Hours after that call, after the Osundairo brothers landed in Turkey for a layover, Smollett called him again and asked if they were still on their way, he said. Osondaero testified that he thought Smollett wanted to know if they were “okay” and if there were any problems.