Jussie Smollett got into several heated exchanges during cross-examination at his criminal trial.
“You do not understand Instagram,” the ex-“Empire” actor griped to a special prosecutor.
Smollett is standing trial on charges that he falsely reported to police that he was the victim of a racist attack.
The cross-examination of Jussie Smollett at his criminal trial on Tuesday got heated, with the former actor sniping to the prosecutor, “You do not understand Instagram.”
Smollett, 39, snapped at special prosecutor Dan Webb as he grilled him about some of his private Instagram messages with Abimbola Osundairo, one of the two Nigerian brothers authorities say Smollett hired to stage the January 2019 attack in Chicago, the New York Post reported.
“Mr. Webb, with all due respect you do not understand Instagram,” Smollett said as he was questioned about the message, according to the news outlet.
Webb fired back, “Look at me. I’m older. I tell you right now I do not understand Instagram … I’m asking you if the messages I’m about to show you are between Bola [Abimbola] and you.”
The prosecution said that Smollett sent a series of messages to Osundairo in the hours leading up the alleged 2019 attack about the actor’s flight delay as evidence that the two were coordinating, according to The Post.
But Smollett insisted that he had updated his millions of followers about the flight delay by posting about it in an Instagram Story.
“You’re misrepresenting me to the jury and to the entire court, and it’s not fair,” Smollett told Webb, according to The Post. “Without showing the actual Insta stories that I posted, they’re not getting the full story, so they don’t understand.”
At one point Webb asked whether Smollett told investigators that his attackers were white because it would have made his hate crime claim more credible.
“You would have to ask someone who actually planned a fake hate crime,” Smollett shot back, according to CBS News Chicago reporter Charlie De Mar.
Smollett, who is Black and openly gay, finished testifiying on Tuesday in his trial on six counts of disorderly conduct for accusations that he falsely reported to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
The actor, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, testified in court Monday that “there was no hoax.”
Closing arguments in the trial are set to begin on Wednesday.
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