Osundairo brothers feel Jussie Smollett ‘betrayed them’ with hate crime hoax

The two Nigerian-American brothers at the center of Jussie Smollett’s hate crime case say they “feel tremendously regretful” for the role they played in the allegedly orchestrated attack against the Empire star.

An attorney for Ola and Abel Osundairo said that her clients feel “betrayed” by Jussie Smollett and are trying “to pick up the pieces of what this has done to their lives.”

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The two Nigerian-American brothers at the center of Jussie Smollett’s hate crime case say they “feel tremendously regretful” for the role they played in the allegedly orchestrated attack against the Empire star.

An attorney for Ola and Abel Osundairo said they feel “betrayed” by the actor and are trying “to pick up the pieces of what this has done to their lives.”

“This entire thing started because they put their trust in the wrong person,” attorney Gloria Schmidt said in an interview on CBSN.

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Chicago police claim Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to stage a hate crime against him in late January because he was upset with his salary on Empire. But according to a new TMZ report, the brothers insist the $3500 check was payment for training and diet regimen designed to get Smollett in shape for a music video shoot.

On Friday, a Chicago grand jury hit the singer with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for fabricating the alleged Jan. 29 attack during which he claims two masked white males beat him up and hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him and doused him with bleach.

After a three week investigation, police concluded that Smollett actually conspired with the Osundairo brothers to stage the attack.

“They feel tremendously regretful for their role in this, and their involvement in the situation,” Schmidt said. “The impact that this has had – not only on them, but on minority populations – that weighs very heavily on them.”

According to Schmidt, the brothers are hoping to “make this something positive for them and have a positive impact on the community.”

Schmidt insists her clients did not commit a hate crime but they certainly feel betrayed by the entertainer.

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“They felt that their friend, someone who had helped them get some connections, would not put them in a situation where they’re now being labeled as someone who would commit a hate crime,” she said. “I can tell you, with confidence, they did not commit a hate crime. They also did not know that their loyalty to him would be betrayed.”

The brothers are not expecting special treatment from prosecutors in exchange for their grand jury testimony against Smollett.

“They fully cooperated with the police. They’re still cooperating with the police. They have not sought out any kind of immunity or any kind of plea deals. That is not on the table. They are not interested in that. They just wanted to come out and cooperate and tell the truth,” she said.

Meanwhile, Smollett’s attorney, Mark Geragos, wonders why the Osundairo brothers were not indicted right along with his client.

“I haven’t seen one piece of evidence, and they don’t have one piece of evidence that they’ve turned over that links Jussie to this. What they do have is a whale of a case. If you believe what the police chief is saying, they’ve got a great case against the two brothers,” Geragos said. “What do they have that corroborates this story? These are the two people Juthat did it. What do they have besides their word that says he was in on this?”

 

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