The two brothers allegedly involved in the attack against Jussie Smollett are suing the actor’s lawyers for defamation of character. Surprisingly, the brothers aren’t suing the actor himself, though they claim that he “directed” the staged attack, according to The New York Times.
Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo filed a lawsuit against Smollett’s lawyers Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian, claiming that after the actor had the brothers stage the attack against him, his lawyers repeatedly told falsehoods about the situation that harmed the brothers’ reputations. The lawsuit claims that Smollett directed every detail about the attack in order to gain attention.
“He wanted his employer and the public to notice and appreciate him as a successful black, openly gay actor,” the lawsuit reads. “So, Mr. Smollett directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose.”
The brothers’ lawyers said that the lawsuit is their way of restoring their reputation, which has been harmed by the narrative surrounding the attack. Gloria Schmidt, a lawyer for the brothers, addressed the lawsuit at a news conference Tuesday in downtown Chicago.
“My city, my police department and my clients all deserve to have their reputations restored,” she said.
Schmidt claimed that the brothers had struggled to find employment after their names were brought into the controversy and were detained by law enforcement. She then read a statement from the brothers.
“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,” it read. “These lies are destroying our character and our reputation in our personal and professional lives.”
Smollett claims he was attacked in an upscale Chicago neighborhood by two men who shouted racist slogans and put a noose around his neck. He claimed that they also poured a substance that smelled like bleach on him. Later, police determined that the attack may not have happened as Smollett claimed it did, eventually detaining the Osundairo brothers and charging the actor with making a false statement to police.
A lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday in Chicago on behalf of the brothers https://t.co/BxwO88xXGU
— TIME (@TIME) April 23, 2019
Later, the charges were dropped against the actor, shocking many in the public and the Chicago Police Department. Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized the move as a “whitewash” of justice. Now, the Cook County inspector general is looking into how the case was handled by prosecutors. As part of that investigation, texts from prosecutor Kim Foxx were revealed, and the prosecutor claims that she is now receiving death threats for her part in the case.