The attorney for the brothers accused of assaulting Jussie Smollett is speaking out on their behalf.
A month after the “Empire” star claimed brothers, Abimdola and Olabinjo Osundairo, attacked him on the streets of Chicago by shouting racist and homophobic slurs before striking him, putting a rope around his neck and pouring bleach on his body.
But on Monday, the Osundairo brothers’ lawyer Gloria Schmidt said they were asked by Smollett to stage the attack as a “favour”.
“I’m confident that they did not do a hate crime,” she told “Good Morning America’s” George Stephanopoulos. “What I can tell you right now is the tremendous regret that they have over their involvement in this situation.”
On Friday, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts by a Chicago grand jury for allegedly falsifying a police report and lying to authorities about the supposed hate crime.
“They worked with Jussie, they’ve known him, they were friends with him. This was someone who the brothers thought could help their career. Obviously, Mr. Smollett has connections,” she added. “This later turned out to be a big betrayal.”
But now according to Schmidt, the pair are ready to move forward, “They are working very hard right now to piece their lives together. I mean, this was life-altering. They know that this has impacted a lot of minority populations, so they are working very hard to move this in a positive direction.”
Smollett is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.