Brothers In Jussie Smollett Case File Defamation Suit Against Star’s Legal Team

The two brothers involved in “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack are now suing the lawyers who represented the star in his criminal case.

Abimbola (Abel or Bola) and Olabinjo (Ola) Osundairo have accused Smollett’s legal team, including Mark Geragos, his firm and Tina Glandian, of defaming them and falsely accusing them of an actual hate crime.

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Smollett was charged with lying to police about being the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in January. The charges were dropped last month.

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Many people, such as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson, do not believe Smollett is innocent, but his legal team has maintained that the Osundairo brothers attacked Smollett.

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“Defendants made these comments knowing they were untrue to distract from Mr. Smollett’s farce and to promote themselves and the Geragos & Geragos law firm,” the Osundairo brothers’ lawsuit alleges, according to CBS. “Statements indicating plaintiffs actually criminally battered Mr. Smollett without his consent are patently false and defamatory, as Mr. Smollett originated, planned and orchestrated the attack.”

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During an interview with “The Today Show”, Glandian had previously suggested that the brothers may have been wearing “whiteface” while attacking Smollett.

The Osundairo brothers’ lawsuit alleges Glandian “falsely submitted that plaintiffs may have been wearing ‘whiteface’ while attacking Mr. Smollett — again stating plaintiffs battered Mr. Smollett and adding the implication that this battery was a hate crime.”

Jussie Smollett appears at a hearing for judge assignment with his attorney Tina Glandian (L) at Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 14, 2019 in Chicago, Ill. (E. Jason Wambsgans-Pool/Getty Images)
Jussie Smollett appears at a hearing for judge assignment with his attorney Tina Glandian (L) at Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 14, 2019 in Chicago, Ill. (E. Jason Wambsgans-Pool/Getty Images)

The brothers’ lawsuit states that Geragos’ and Glandian’s statements “have caused considerable damage to plaintiffs’ careers, as they have lost talent agent contracts and career opportunities.”

The lawsuit adds: “Thus, Ms. Glandian’s statements have caused plaintiffs irreparable financial damage.”

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The Osundairo brothers, who were born and raised in Chicago, claim they have suffered “significant emotional distress and feel unsafe and alienated in their local Chicago community.”

Their lawsuit also states that the Osundairo brothers are Nigerian-Americans and visit family in Nigeria often.

According to the lawsuit, Glandian publicly suggested Abimbola and Smollet had engaged in sexual acts together on the podcast Reasonable Doubt.

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The lawsuit claims Glandian’s suggestion that Abimbola had relations with Smollett and is homosexual puts both him and his family in Nigeria in danger. The lawsuit notes that homosexual activity is illegal in Nigeria and punishable by up to 14 years in prison or death by stoning if the accused is married.

“As a result of Ms. Glandian’s false and defamatory statements concerning (Abimbola) Osundairo’s sexual activity, plaintiff suffered and will continue to suffer damage, including economic damages and damages to his reputation.”

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The Osundairo brothers, who have also worked on “Empire”co-operated with Johnson, the police superintendent, during the investigation.

“We worked very closely with their lawyer, and (she) went in there to talk to them, and whatever she said to them apparently got through to them — to just tell the truth about what happened,” Johnson said. “And that’s what they decided to do.”

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Johnson said that the key piece of evidence was a cancelled cheque signed by Smollett. The brothers said Smollett “paid them $3,500 with a cheque … to carry out this incident.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

As of this writing, Smollett and his legal team have not addressed the defamation lawsuit.

Smollet’s lawyers Geragos and Glandian released a statement in regards to the Osundairo brother’s defamation lawsuit.

“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 attack they admit they perpetrated,” the statement read.

The statement continued: “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.”

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