Actor Jussie Smollett is on trial this week after allegedly fabricating a hate crime, casting himself as the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago, Illinois.
According to reports, the trial itself has become a source of drama, including a defense attorney’s emotional claim that the judge lunged at her after she made a request for a mistrial.
“You physically moved toward me”
As the New York Post noted, the judge denied her allegation. In the end, the lawyer’s request for a mistrial was denied and she briefly left the courtroom in tears.
Local news outlets reported that the incident occurred while the defense questioned two brothers allegedly hired by Smollett to stage the attack.
The defense team reportedly confronted the Osundairo brothers about allegations that they were homophobic and at one point suggested that one of them might have been engaged in a secret romantic relationship with Smollett, who is gay.
As attorney Tamara Walker began to question the other brother about a supposedly anti-gay text message, Cook County Judge James Linn chastised her for following a “collateral” line of questioning that was unrelated to the case. That encounter prompted a sidebar meeting between Linn and the attorneys, which in turn led to Walker’s accusation against the judge.
“Judge, you physically moved toward me,” Walker said.
“I was in shock and disbelief”
In response, Linn said that he did not lunge at her but was simply shocked that she would request a mistrial over an issue as minor as disallowing an unrelated line of questioning.
Walker expounded on her complaint against the judge in a subsequent interview with the Chicago Tribune, asserting: “As soon as I made the motion, Judge Lynn reacted with shock and seemed to become upset, and at that moment had a reaction to physically move toward me with the upper portion of his body.”
Defense attorney Heather Widell also stated for the record that Linn made “snarling faces” at the defense team while granting multiple objections made by prosecutors.
As for reports that she left the courtroom in tears, Walker firmly denied them, going on to recall the unfair treatment she claimed to have received as a Black female attorney.
“My voice cracked, but I did not cry about the incident,” she affirmed. “I was in shock and disbelief, and my voice broke. I could not believe I was relating what occurred.”