The two brothers who allegedly helped orchestrate the hoax hate crime attack against Empire actor Jussie Smollett claim they have “tremendous regret” over their involvement in the incident.
The brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, are believed to have helped Smollett orchestrate a hoax hate crime against himself, with Jussie Smollett telling police that the pair hurled homophobic and racist slurs, covered him in bleach, wrapped a noose around his neck, and declared “This is MAGA country!”
However, the two men have now admitted that they helped fake the incident after Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack in downtown Chicago in January, after surveillance footage captured them purchasing red hats and buying ski masks. According to reports, Smollett hoped the incident would help him secure a pay increase after he became dissatisfied with his $1 million-plus a year salary.
“My clients have tremendous regret over their involvement in this situation, and they understand how it has impacted people across the nation, particularly minority communities and especially those who have been victims of hate crimes themselves,” attorney Gloria Schmidt said in a statement to CBS Chicago.
After cooperating with police investigations, the pair have since been released without charge. Jussie Smollett, meanwhile, was released from Cook County Jail last week after posting a $100,000 bond. He is expected back in court later this month to face charges of filing a false police report, an allegation he has repeatedly denied.