Ola and Abel Osundairo are at the center of the Jussie Smollett saga. The two Nigerian-Americans have claimed the “Empire” actor hired them to stage the Jan. 29 attack. They have now issued an apology.
“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,” their lawyer, Gloria Schmidt, said in a brief statement to CNN.com.
The statement did not address allegations of being homophobic on the set of “Empire” or anti-gay tweets they deleted.
The brothers released the following statement when news broke they were involved in the attack: “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.”
Their past may contradict that statement.
In addition, the Chicago Police Department claimed the brothers told them the attack against Smollett was orchestrated by the “Empire” actor and that they were paid $3,500. However, 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.
We hope the truth comes out.