Abel and Ola Osundario have had a change of tune and now say that they’re no longer willing to testify against former Empire actor Jussie Smollett. The two brothers once claimed that they were paid $3,500 to stage an attack against Smollett, who claimed that in January 2019, he was attacked by two men making racist and homophobic slurs against him.
As a local Chicago CBS affiliate reported, the two said that they feel as though police are treating them like suspects rather than witnesses and that they no longer wish to cooperate in the investigation.
In addition to that, they said that they would like their property back, as it is still being held by police. Officers raided their home in February 2019 as part of the investigation into the attack. Among the things taken were a 9mm gun and ammunition held in a safe.
“It’s been over a year and they need to give us our stuff back,” said Abel. “I would understand if we were defendants in the case, which we are not.”
“Legally, it belongs to me, and I want to know its whereabouts,” he added of the gun.
“Most of the stuff isn’t even mine,” he said. “They belong to my oldest brother, my mother, my sister. They even took my dog’s toy.”
Police say that the gun and other items are accounted for and are preserved as evidence. They said that they would turn over the items if a judge ordered them to do so.
“Of course I’m skeptical, because you are saying one thing one day and another thing another day,” Abel said. “It’s just another thing we have to go through.”
Prior to the police deciding that Smollett had likely staged the attack, the two brothers’ home was raided after they came under the scrutiny of the Chicago police. The police later released the two after they claimed they were paid to stage the attack.
Smollett claimed that two men approached him on the street, poured bleach on him, and placed a noose around his neck. Police representatives said that they doubted the actor’s claims after an investigation, and Cook County filed a 16-count felony indictment against Smollet for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. Later that month, State Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges.
This February, Smollett was once again indicted for allegedly staging the hate crime after a special prosecutor found “irregularities” in how Foxx had handled the case against the actor. He has pled not guilty and filed a request to drop the new charges. That request was denied.