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CHICAGO — Actor Jussie Smollett was back in Cook County court Wednesday for a hearing that is closed to the public.

It’s the first time Smollett has appeared in person at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building, located at 26th and California, in more than a year.

Smollett is accused of staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself in Chicago in 2019. The actor has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence.

At the heart of Wednesday’s hearing: the question — how much contact did the attorney Nenye Uche have with the Osundairo brothers before he signed on to represent Smollett?

According to their attorney, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, the brothers both testified that they had extensive conversations early on about Uche representing them in the case but Uche denies such a claim.

Schmidt Rodriguez says phone records that could help provide clarity were not available and the brothers did not have their own phones with them during the conversations.

The two brothers, who are believed to have been paid by Smollett to carry out what police called a fake attack, were also on hand.

Their mother was also among the witnesses that took the stand on Wednesday.

A special prosecutor was appointed after Smollett’s initial case was surprisingly dismissed by Cook County prosecutors. He was later indicted on six counts charged with making false reports to Chicago Police.

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