The brothers who were allegedly paid by Empire star Jussie Smollett to stage a hate crime hoax are suing the actor’s lawyers for defamation, claiming his legal team continues to drag their names through the mud despite charges being dropped against the actor.
Brothers Abimobola and Olabinjo Osundairo claim they were paid by Smollett to help perpetrate the hoax, in which they wore red hats before attacking him on the streets of Chicago. The actor then blamed the attack on supporters of Donald Trump claiming his attackers yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
After Cook County prosecutors made the unusual move of dropping 16 felony counts against the actor, the brothers – who confessed to police Smollett had paid them to carry out the hoax – claim Smollett’s attorneys have been emboldened and are doubling down on claims against them.
At a press conference Tuesday, the brother’s lawyers accused Smollett of not only destroying their reputations, but that of the City of Chicago, as well.
“These lies are destroying our character and our reputation in our personal and professional lives,” one of the brothers’ attorneys, Gloria Schmidt, read from a prepared statement. “Those who know us personally know that we don’t have hate for anyone… That is not who we are.”
“The Chicagoan brothers told the truth,” Schmidt said. “They could have remained silent. But instead they told the truth to the police, and with their right hand in the air, they told the truth to the grand jury. We’re going to make sure that the lies and malice attacking our city, our Police Department and my two clients are met with truth and healing.”
Additionally, Abimobola claims Smollett’s attorney “inferred” during a radio interview he and Smollett had “engaged, at least briefly, in homosexual acts together,” which the brother denied vehemently saying he is heterosexual and in a relationship with a woman. The statement was particularly damaging, according to the federal lawsuit, because he still has family in Nigeria where homosexual activity is illegal and not tolerated.
The brothers, who are both aspiring actors, say they’re the real victims of Smollett’s case and that they merely helped him hoping to advance their careers.
Smollett, the brothers claim, “directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose.”
“In short, Mr. Smollett used his clout as a wealthy actor to influence (the Osundairo brothers), who were in a subordinate relationship to him and were aspiring to ‘make it’ in Hollywood,” the suit reads.
Watch the brothers’ attorney’s press conference below:
Read the brothers’ lawsuit: