Nigerian-born brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, the two accused of helping to stage a hate crime against actor Jussie Smollett, have filed a defamation lawsuit against Smollett’s lawyers Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian.
“Attorneys Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian, through their continued false statements and hateful rhetoric, have only deepened the damage that was cause by the very first out of 16 counts of lies that were told to the police that started this whole situation,” said Gloria Schmidt, a lawyer for the Osundario brothers. “As far as their participation in this publicity stunt, they’ve realized that it was wrong, they’ve apologized for it, and they’ve expressed more than once that they are tremendously regretful for the role that they played in it. But make no mistake, they had no role in calling the police, and they had no role in defrauding the Police Department.”
The news comes approximately one month after an Illinois court abruptly dropped charges of filing a false police report against Smollett, further complicating an already confusing situation. In January, the Empire star alleged that a group of men doused him in bleach, tied a noose around his neck and beat him, shouting the words “this is MAGA country.” Smollett enjoyed a heavy outpouring of sympathy before questions began to arise about details of the alleged hate crime. Police eventually questioned Ola & Abel Osundario who confessed that Smollett had paid them to help him fake the attack as part of a scheme to get a pay raise on the series. Police eventually arrested Smollett on February 21 and charged him with 16 counts of filing a false police report. Those charges were abruptly dropped March 28 with court records sealed, leaving observers to wonder the exact reasons behind the dismissal.
Smollett continues to profess his innocence. At present, the FBI has launched its own investigation as to why the charges were dropped.