Ola and Abel Osundairo are the two Nigerian-American brothers who claimed Jussie Smollett hired them to staged the Jan. 29 attack. Earlier this week, homophobic tweets surfaced, which were deleted but now it is being reported they used anti-gay slurs on the set of “Empire.” The brothers said in a public statement they are not homophobic.
The Daily Mail exclusively reported that Alex McDaniel was an actor on set with Abel Osundairo when they filmed at Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago in July of 2015.
“I was hired to be on the set to play a gang banger for season two of the show,” McDaniel said. “I remember meeting the brothers, the smallest one was quite well-mannered and well-tempered, very quiet and barely spoke. His brother who was taller was a little more agitated about what he was seeing that day.”
He continued: “I swapped a few words with the taller brother. I remember we were doing a prison scene and Lee Daniels (the director), who is openly gay, asked all the guys with muscles to take their shirts off. I just remember his attitude being very funky and very stank like.”
They were on set for 12-13 hours and a conversation began with the group of actors about having a gay friend. “It became very uncomfortable for me, the taller Nigerian guy was very agitated about the fact of me being gay, Lee Daniels being gay, gay people period, he was not okay with that notion,” McDaniel said.
He claimed Abel said, “I would never have a gay friend, I don’t really like gay people.” Another actor, Ticarus Bunch, was there and told Daily Mail that Abel went further, calling gay people “f**gots.” Bunch said the conversation was also about the show “Empire” being groundbreaking for LGBT characters. Bunch claimed Abel said, “Then it came round to having homosexual friends and the Nigerian said, ‘hell no, I won’t have no gay people around me, no f*****ts around me, f**k that.’ He was real adamant about it.”
McDaniel reportedly “cursed him out” but everyone tried to remain calm because they didn’t want to ruin the opportunity on “Empire.” Both McDaniel and Bunch said Ola was much nicer and introverted. Another witness, Lawrence Johnson Jr., confirmed the incident happened.
The Chicago Police Department claimed the brothers told them the attack against Smollert was orchestra by the “Empire” actor and that they were paid $3,500. The brothers released the following statement: “We are not racist. We are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens.”
However, The Blast reported two tweets were deleted this past week. Ola Osundairo tweeted in 2013, “Why you following Frank Ocean … you know that ni**a gay right.” Another message read, “YOU’RE GAY THATS WHO YOU ARE.” Ola also once wrote, “I don’t follow any man. I follow woman.”
Earlier this week, TMZ reported the FBI said the Chicago Police were “overstating” when they said Jussie sent a hateful Jan. 22 letter to himself. One federal law enforcement source told TMZ, “I think he [Johnson] went too far. We’re not there yet.”
TMZ also reported, “We’re told authorities are trying to determine if the pages have the lettering found in the letter. They’re also checking the postage stamp against the stamps found in the brothers’ apartment.” The Nigerian brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, denied sending the letter.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson may have also gone too far when he said Jussie paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the attack. TMZ reports they “obtained documents that on the surface back his claim the $3,500 check he wrote to Abel was for training. The check was written to Abel on January 23, 2019, six days before the ‘attack.’ The memo line reads, ‘5 week Nutrition/Workout program Don’t Go.'” “Don’t Go” is a song for a music video where he would appear shirtless.
TMZ also reported, “There are various texts starting from January 20 between Jussie and Bon. On January 28 — the day before the ‘attack’ — Bon [Abel Osundairo] wrote, ‘I know you’re traveling today, make sure you get at least 45 mins of cardio.’ Another text on January 20 outlines a menu for the day, including chicken thigh, StarKist Tuna, Eggs and Smucker’s peanut butter. And, a text on January 25 reads, ‘This is the meal plan and the breakdown of macronutrients. Also includes projected fat loss.'” The $3,500 breakdown was reportedly “$600 a week for the workout plan for 5 weeks, and $100 a week for the nutrition plan for 5 weeks,” according to TMZ reports.
The brothers were also on video appearing to buy items allegedly used for the attack.