Brothers accused of Jussie Smollett attack sue actor's lawyers
The two brothers involved in an alleged attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett are suing his lawyers for defamation.
According to papers filed at Chicago federal court, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo say Smollett’s lawyers, Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian, falsely accused them of “criminally” attacking the actor even after the police investigation concluded otherwise.
Smollett claimed he was beaten by the two men in January, who shouted racist and homophobic abuse at him and wrapped a noose around his neck.
Charges were brought against the actor by prosecutors after police said the attack was a hoax and was staged for publicity – which Smollett denied.
The charges against the actor, who is black and openly gay, were dropped earlier this month.
Prosecutors gave no detailed explanation, but confirmed an “appropriate resolution” had been reached.
Court papers for the civil case, which seeks unspecified financial damages, said: “He wanted his employer and the public to notice and appreciate him as a successful black, openly gay actor.
“Smollett directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose.”
Smollet’s lawyers responded, saying the case was “comical” and a “desperate attempt” for the brothers “to stay relevant and further profit from an attack they admit they perpetrated”.
The documents also stated the pair served as the actor’s trainers and were extras on his Fox hip-hop drama.
A lawyer for the Osundairo brothers said: “They’ve realised that it was wrong. They’ve apologised for it.
“But make no mistake: they had no role in calling the police and they had no role in defrauding the police department.”
Earlier this month the city of Chicago sued Smollett for three times the damages it said it incurred investigating the incident.
Smollett had already refused a demand of $130,000 (£100,400) to pay for the police overtime costs.