As Jussie Smollett’s criminal case regarding his alleged hate crime case continues, the Osundairo brothers, who were allegedly hired to play out the incident, issued a public apology for their involvement on Thursday (Feb. 28).
Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo’s attorney released the statement to CBS Chicago, claiming the two felt “tremendous regret” over the situation. “My clients have tremendous regret over their involvement in this situation, and they understand how it has impacted people across the nation, particularly minority communities and especially those who have been victims of hate crimes themselves,” the statement reads.
As previously reported, Smollett claimed to have been a victim of a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago on Jan. 29. After an extensive investigation, Chicago PD claimed the Empire actor had staged the entire incident. They cited text messages between Smollett and the Osundairo brothers, as well as other physical evidence proving the attack was fake. They claimed he did it because he was upset with his salary.
Gloria Schmidt, an attorney for the brothers, previously told CBS Chicago that the Osundairo’s knew Smollett from working on Empire and went to the same gym on occasion. Authorities said the actor paid the two men $3,500 to act out the attack, although the original check discovered is now believed to be a payment related to nutrition and wellness plans.
Smollett, was arrested for disorderly conduct on Feb. 21. He was later released after posting a $100,000 bond. Smollett and his legal team maintain his innocence. “Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing,” his legal team’s statement reads.
If convicted, Smollett faces up to three years in prison. The Osundairo brothers have not been charged at this time.