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Jussie Smollett case: Brothers apologize for roles in alleged fake attack

USAToday.com updated 3/2/19

The two brothers who allegedly helped “Empire” star Jussie Smollett stage a fake homophobic and racist street assault in Chicago say they have “tremendous regret” about it and know the impact it will have on true victims of hate crimes.

USA TODAY obtained a statement from Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo Friday from their attorney, Chicago lawyer Gloria Schmidt.

“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 read.

The Osundairo brothers were originally considered suspects in the early-morning beating Smollett told police he suffered in a downtown Chicago neighborhood on Jan. 29.

Smollett told police his attackers shouted racist and homophobic slurs and referred to “MAGA,” President Trump’s political slogan, Make America Great Again.

The brothers were arrested on Feb. 15, detained and interrogated for nearly 48 hours, and finally told police that Smollett had paid them to stage the attack. Police released them without charges.

 

Chicago police had insisted all along that Smollett was a crime victim until suddenly he wasn’t: On Feb. 20, police charged him with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He pleaded not guilty.

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