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Brothers at heart of Jussie Smollett attack case sue actor's lawyers for defamation but spare 'Empire' star

Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo in their lawsuit claimed that even after the truth of the matter came out, Smollett's attorneys defamed the brothers in statements to the media
UPDATED MAR 19, 2020
Jussie Smollett (Source : Getty Images)
Jussie Smollett (Source : Getty Images)

The two brothers accused by Chicago police for conniving with Jussie Smollett to orchestrate an attack on the 'Empire' star have filed a federal lawsuit against his attorneys, saying the actor's legal team smeared them and their reputation by insisting that the brothers, in fact, attacked the actor, even after the truth of the case was out in the open.

Gloria Schmidt, the attorney for Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, in a press conference on Tuesday morning, said they have filed a lawsuit against Smollett's attorneys -- Mark Geragos, Tina Glandian and the Geragos & Geragos Law Firm -- for allegedly lying to the media in portraying the brothers as the culprits in what was initially thought to be a homophobic and racist attack.

The lawsuit alleges that, "Smollett directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose" and that his attorneys defamed the brothers in statements to the media. It further alleged that Smollett’s attorneys "doubled down, not simply affirming that Mr. Smollett was a wholly innocent victim, but that … (the brothers) unequivocally led a criminally homophobic, racist, and violent attack against Mr. Smollett."

The brothers filed the case in Chicago federal court, claiming Jussie "used his clout as a wealthy actor to influence [the brothers] who were in a subordinate relationship to him and were aspiring to 'make it,'" reports TMZ.

The suit says when Glandian went on 'GMA,' "Today" and the 'Reasonable Doubt' podcast, even after it was established that Smollett had coordinated the attack and the charges against him for doing so had been dismissed, and told a string of lies, including that the brothers wore whiteface during the attack and the brothers were involved in an illegal Nigerian steroid trafficking ring.

The defamation suit mentions that the allegations have cost the brothers some business opportunities and Smollett’s Los Angeles-based celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, in particular, made them "feel unsafe and alienated in their local Chicago community."

In this handout provided by the Chicago Police Department, Jussie Smollett poses for a booking photo after turning himself into the Chicago Police Department on February 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The 36-year-old 'Empire' star is facing a class four felony charge for filing a false police report after claiming he was the victim of an assault on January 29th.

In January it was reported that the African-American and openly gay actor, was attacked by two men in the city's Streeterville neighborhood, who he alleged yelled racist and homophobic slurs and poured a chemical on him and looped a noose-like rope around his neck. 

At first, the incident was treated as a hate crime, and there was a public outcry on the subject. However, the story turned against Smollett after the Osundairo brothers, who were initially alleged to have been his attackers, revealed that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with a promise of an additional $500 later.

Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, but those charges were unexpectedly dropped last month by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office.

The brothers say as a result of the alleged defamation they suffered extreme emotional distress, humiliation, anxiety, damages to their reputation, and damages to current and prospective business relations.

However, many are questioning why the brothers are not suing Smollett, but only his lawyers.