The two brothers who say they continue to be accused of carrying out a racist and homophobic attack on actor Jussie Smollett are suing the star’s legal team for defamation.
Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who worked as extras on Empire and sometimes went to the gym with the actor, were initially arrested over the incident but were later released by police without charge before Smollett was charged with filing a false police report.
The 36-year-old pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct at a hearing last month, which followed his arrest in February. Smollett had been accused of lying to police about the alleged racist and homophobic attack he said he was the victim of on January 29, 2019.
The Osundairos also later said they “regret” their involvement in the incident and have now issued a statement, according to BBC Newsbeat.
“We have sat back and watched lie after lie being fabricated about us in the media only so one big lie can continue to have life,” they said.
“These lies are destroying our character and reputation in our personal and professional lives.”
But Smollett’s lawyers have hit back at the statement.
“At first we thought this comical legal document was a parody,” they said. “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.
“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.”
After having always claimed that he was an innocent victim in the case, all criminal charges against Smollett were dropped by prosecutors last month (March 26). Yet Smollett was later ordered to to pay $130,000 (£99,500) by the city of Chicago to cover the costs of his recent criminal investigation.