As if the Jussie Smollett case couldn’t get more complicated, the two alleged accomplices are back. And they’re suing Smollett’s lawyers.
According to the Associated Press, Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo say that they worked with Jussie Smollett to stage a racist and homophonic attack against him last year. They allege that Smollett paid them $3,500 to help stage the attack. Yet, Smollett and his lawyers say that the brothers seriously carried out the crime.
Now this past Tuesday, the brothers filed a lawsuit against Smollett’s defense team, Mark Geragos, Tina Glandian, and Geragos’ Los Angeles-based law firm. According to a joint statement issued after the lawsuit was filed in federal court in Chicago, the brothers are accusing Smollett’s attorneys of defamation.
“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,” the statement says. “These lies are destroying our character and reputation in our personal and professional lives.”
The brothers contend that Smollett has continued to say the they “led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett.”
“Mr. Smollett’s attorneys, faced with an outraged public, did not retreat after their success (in getting charges dropped). Instead, they doubled down,” the lawsuit states.
The men say that the entire case has caused “significant emotional distress” and made them feel unsafe around their Chicago home. The brothers also claim that Smollett easily manipulated them because they wanted to get further into the tv/movie making business.
In addition, Abimbola was especially offended with Smollett’s attorney Glandian “inferred” that he was gay. Earlier this month, during an interview on the podcast Reasonable Doubt, Glandian said that Abimbola “engaged, at least briefly, in homosexual acts” with Smollett. The lawsuit states that this assertion is false and potentially puts him and his family in danger in Nigeria (where they have ancestral and familial ties).
“Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Nigeria, which can result in 14 years of imprisonment,” the lawsuit asserts. “If the accused is married, the punishment is death by stoning.”
They are thus asking for an unspecified amount of monetary compensation. That said, the lawsuit says the yet to be decided amount will probably be more than $75,000.
The defense team then came forward to say that the Osundairo brothers’ lawsuit is “a desperate attempt… to stay relevant and further profit from an attack they admit they perpetrated.”