The two brothers involved in the alleged hoax attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett are speaking out, saying through their lawyer, that they deeply regret the incident.
“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.
Abindola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo were, briefly, suspects in the Jan. 29 attack that Smollett described as racist and homophobic. Investigators say it was, in fact, a hoax intended to generate publicity for the “Empire” actor, who was seeking a higher salary.
Cook County prosecutors have charged Smollett with felony disorderly conduct, the charge used for filing a false police report.
Prosecutors say Smollett enlisted the help of the brothers, one of whom worked out with the actor and had been a stand-in on “Empire.” Smollett later wrote a check for $3,500 to one of the brothers, prosecutors say.
The brothers were detained and then released, without being charged.