Smollett Lawyer: Nigerian Brothers Could Have Attacked Jussie Wearing ‘Whiteface’

Actor Jussie Smollet appears with his attorney Tina Glandian, left, at a hearing for a judge assignment at Leighton Criminal Court in Chicago, Thursday, March 14, 2019. Smollett pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of lying to police about being attacked in downtown Chicago a few weeks ago. (E. …
E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool

Appearing Thursday morning on NBC’s Today, Jussie Smollett lawyer Tina Glandian claimed “Abel” and “Ola” Osundairo, the two brothers of Nigerian descent allegedly paid to stage a racist and homophobic attack on the Empire star, suggested the pair could have worn “white face” during the ordeal.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: According to the court records he — Smollett — was very clear with police on the night of the attack that his attackers were white. He said they had masks on and gloves, but he saw their eyes, that he saw the skin surrounding their eyes was white. Was that a false statement?

TINA GLANDIAN: So, just to be clear: He only saw one of the attackers. One of them he didn’t see. He saw one through a ski mask. Again, he could not see their body. Everything was covered, and he had a full ski mask on except the area around the eyes. He did tell police that he — from what we saw, he thought it was pale skin or white or pale skin, was I think what he said. And that was what he — and that’s why he initially did have a hard time.

GUTHRIE: Why did he say that? He could have said, “I don’t know.”

GLANDIAN: He could have.

GUTHRIE: But with the Osundairo brothers, what are the chances that was the case that he saw somebody with white skin?

GLANDIAN: Well, you know, I mean, I think there’s — obviously, you can disguise that. You can put makeup on. There is, interestingly enough, a video. You know, I think police had minimal investigation in this case, it took me only five minutes to Google. You know, I was looking up the brothers, and one of the videos that showed up actually was of the brothers in whiteface doing a joker monologue with white makeup on him. So, it’s not — it’s not implausible.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.