Jussie Smollett took the stand Monday in his case where he’s facing six felony counts of disorderly conduct, and testified that he had an intimate relationship with Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo, one of the two brothers who allegedly attacked him in Jan. 2019. 

His claim comes after Abel denied that he and Smollett ever started dating during questioning last week. According to Chicago Tribune reporter Jason Meisner, the former Empire star and Osundairo left a strip club and went to a bathhouse where they got a private room to be alone. “We made out a little bit, and this time we masturbated together,” he recalls. The two resorted to sneaking off because Smollett said he never trusted Abel’s brother, Olabingo Osundairo. 

Smollett alleges he and Abel met again at a club before going to another bathhouse where they made out, but also did drugs. The 39-year-old actor maintains that he was walking home after getting a sandwich when he heard someone say something about Empire and then unfurl a racist, homophobic slur in his direction.

“I would like to think I landed a punch. But I don’t know if it landed,” Smollett said. After he slipped, a 30-second tussle ensued before a second person emerged, and kicked him on the side. He said he assumed his attackers were white since they made a remark about “MAGA country,” a term the Osundairo brothers previously claimed they were instructed to say. 

Smollett reiterated that the incident wasn’t a hoax, explaining the reason behind some of his more suspicious behavior in the days leading up to the attack. 

AP reports Smollett said the $3,500 check to Osundairo was meant to cover the cost of nutrition and training while he was out of town. He claims the “on the low” text was in reference to an herbal steroid that would aid in weight loss, but could be obtained during an upcoming trip to Nigeria, but was illegal in the United States. Osundairo, however, previously testified that “on the low” was about orchestrating the attack. 

Smollett’s defense team accuses the Osundairo brothers of trying to make money off of him, alleging they asked for $1 million to not testify against him in court.

The actor responded, “Absolutely not,” when asked if there was any truth to him giving them $100 for supplies. He pushed back on the Osundairos’ claim that he proposed the attack during an encounter inside a vehicle. 

Smollett claims he was told by a friend at his apartment to keep the noose around his neck as proof of what occurred during his alleged attack. He said he was opposed to getting police involved at all, saying, “I am a Black man in America. I do not trust the police. I am also a well known figure at that time and I am an openly gay man.” 

Smollett said he lost his livelihood following the public backlash to his alleged attack. Even if convicted, experts believe he will most likely receive probation.