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The Jussie Smollett defense team rested as a Ghislaine Maxwell accuser testified.

Defense rests in Smollett case, Maxwell accuser testifies in court

Dec 07, 2021


A day after a Jeffrey Epstein accuser testified against Ghislaine Maxwell in court, the defense team representing former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett rested its case. The case then went to the prosecution, shortly after Smollett finished a second day of testimony. Prosecutors said they had no other witnesses to call, and Judge James Linn scheduled closing arguments for Wednesday.

Much of Smollett’s Tuesday testimony came during cross-examination from prosecutors who accuse him of staging a racist, homophobic attack on himself for publicity. Smollett said he and the two brothers accusing him of paying them to carry out the attack had been together days beforehand. However, he denied the brothers’ earlier testimony that they circled the area where the alleged attack occurred as part of a “dry run” for the fake assault.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb’s cross-examination revealed some inconsistencies in Smollett’s testimony, including about whether he sent private messages to confirm the timing of the alleged attack. In one of the alleged messages, shown to Smollett in court, Smollett told one of the brothers he had finally made it to his Chicago home about 90 minutes before the attack. Smollett responded that he was arranging a workout session, not an attack.

A day before the Smollett defense rested, a British woman and Epstein accuser testified that Maxwell pressured her into giving Epstein sexual massages when the woman was still a teenager. The woman is using the pseudonym “Kate” to protect her identity.

Kate testified that she met Maxwell at age 17. Maxwell allegedly told Kate that Epstein was a philanthropist who could help her with her singing career. However, Maxwell also allegedly told Kate that Epstein was “demanding” when it came to sexual massages, saying it was “very difficult to keep up” with his needs.

After agreeing to give Epstein massages in London, Kate said she was later flown on commercial flights to Florida. Kate described one episode where Maxwell left out a schoolgirl’s outfit with a pleated skirt for her to wear for the financier.

“I thought it would be fun for you to take Jeffrey his tea in this outfit,” Kate recalled Maxwell telling her. After a sexual encounter that followed, Kate said Maxwell “asked me if I had fun” and called her “such a good girl.”


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