Another hour, another twist in the Jussie Smollett case.
All 16 felony accounts against the “Empire” actor have been dropped. However, there are two people who have been silent, Nigerian-American brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo who allegedly attacked Smollett. The Chicago Police Department claims they were paid by Smollett to stage a hoax while Smollett’s team claim Ola and Abel attacked him and tried to make him think he was assaulted by white men (the men were wearing ski masks).
Now, the lawyer for the Nigerian brothers have reportedly quit.
TMZ reports Gloria Schmidt, their former lawyer, told them to speak out publicly but they are refusing so she “bailed on them, saying she didn’t want to rep them anymore.”
Back on March 11, Schmidt appeared on Good Morning America for an awkward interview. Schmidt told George Stephanopoulos that the $3,500 the Chicago Police Department claimed the brothers were paid for staging the attack was actually for fitness training.
“They were paid for the training … but they were also asked to do this favor for him,” she said.
When pressed about whether there was any evidence to back up their claims, she said they were asked to “do this favor.”
When pushed on what incentive brothers had to stage the attacked, Schmidt said, “If you’re friends, and I’m saying ‘Hey, I’m going to pay you for training, I’m also asking you to do me a favor’ … and the favor was to stage the attack.”
Schmidt claimed the brothers also feel “taken advantage of,” but she wouldn’t directly answer if she thought the attack was a hoax.
“I’m confident that they did not do a hate crime,” Schmidt said.
In addition, according to court documents, the Associate Press claims, “Chicago police provided a six-night hotel stay with separate rooms and 24-hour security.” The hotel stay was “from Feb. 15 to Feb. 21 at the Chicago South Loop Hotel near the city’s McCormick Place convention center.” Also, “Assistance for food and incidentals were also provided” one report read. Rates for the Chicago South Loop Hotel are around $229 per night.
The Associated Press says, “The hotel rooms were part of an effort to avoid the media last month as detectives investigated Smollett’s report that he was assaulted in January by a pair of men in downtown Chicago, the reports said.”
On Jan. 29, while walking to a subway, Smollett claimed two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson accused Smollett of staging the attack and said he mailed a hateful letter to himself on Jan. 22. However, TMZ reported the FBI said the Chicago Police were “overstating” and “went too far.”
Jussie Smollett has maintained his innocence.