The Osundairo brothers, the two men at the center of the investigation into the alleged assault against Jussie Smollett, spoke out on Monday for the first time to clear the air.
Brothers Abimbola “Abel” Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo according to police sources have been fingered as possible co-conspirators who allegedly helped Smollett stage a hate crime attack, The Ny Daily News reports.
They released a joint statement saying:
“We are not racist. We are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump,” they said. “We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens.”
Chicago police confirmed on Saturday that the two brothers are the men in the surveillance video.
“Yes, they are confirmed to be the men on scene by surveillance video,” Chicago Police said in a statement to ABC7 Chicago. “The reason why they were there is now central to the investigation and we can’t get into that at this time.”
Sources reportedly told CBS 2 Chicago and ABC News that Smollett enlisted the Osundairo because he was upset that a threatening letter that was sent to him on the set of Empire in Chicago didn’t conjure up the reaction he wanted.
The note reportedly read: “Smollett Jussie you will die black f–,” and included a stick-figure drawing hanging from a tree next to a gun.
Smollett reported that he was attacked after a late-night run to Smollett and that two men screamed obscenities and called him a “f****t,” and “n****r.”
Smollett and the brothers share a common connection and worked together on Empire as extras.
Smollett’s attorneys as of Monday said he would not be speaking with Chicago police for a follow-up interview at this time. They released this statement over the weekend saying:
Smollett is “angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.”
“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
TMZ reports that a grand jury will be convened.