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Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 @ 12:10 PM
CHICAGO — The brothers who admitted to their involvement in the alleged hoax attack on actor Jussie Smollett are suing his attorneys for defamation.
Ola Osundairo and Abel Osundairo filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Chicago federal court against attorneys Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian, claiming the attorneys have accused the brothers of an actual hate crime.
In a Tuesday press conference, the brothers’ attorneys said their clients participated in the incident, but that it was a “publicity stunt.”
“They were asked to do something for a friend they trusted. And at the end of the day, that friend betrayed their trust,” attorney Gloria Schmidt said, saying the brothers know what they did was wrong and have apologized for it.
Smollett told police he was attacked around 2 a.m. Jan. 29, as he was walking downtown near the Chicago River. He said two men yelled that he was in “MAGA country” and that they hit him in the face, poured an “unknown substance” on him and wrapped a rope around his neck, according to previous Cox Media Group reports.
The two attackers were later identified as the Osundairo brothers. The brothers told police that Smollett had paid them to attack him.
Smollett was initially charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, but District Attorney Kim Foxx unexpectedly dropped those charges last month, The Chicago Tribune reported.
After the charges were dropped, the lawsuit said Geragos and Glandian “doubled down, not simply affirming that Mr. Smollett was a wholly innocent victim, but that … (the brothers) unequivocally led a criminally homophobic, racist, and violent attack against Mr. Smollett.”
The attorneys said the brothers have lost work and business opportunities since the attack, and that Geragos and Glandian’s statements have made them “feel unsafe and alienated in their local Chicago community.”
Schmidt read a statement from the brothers that said, in part, “We have sat back and watched lie after lie being fabricated about us in the media, only so one big lie can continue to have life. These lies are destroying our character and our reputation in our personal and professional lives.”
Tuesday afternoon, Geragos and Glandian released a statement responding to the lawsuit, saying, “At first we thought this comical legal document was a parody. Instead this so-called lawsuit by the brothers is more of their lawyer driven nonsense, and a desperate attempt for them to stay relevant and further profit from an an attack they admit they perpetrated. While we know this ridiculous lawsuit will soon be dismissed because it lacks any legal footing, we look forward to exposing the fraud the Osundairo brothers and their attorneys have committed on the public.”