The bodybuilding brothers targeted in Jussie Smollett’s malicious prosecution lawsuit took a shot at the actor in a new court filing as they asked a judge to toss his complaint.
Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo have claimed they helped fake a racist and homophobic attack on the actor in January 2019. But Smollett’s lawyers have said their statements to police were self-serving and designed to avoid prosecution.
Now, the brothers’ attorney says Smollett got what he wanted out of the whole thing, regardless of how it played out.
“Smollett’s scheme was accomplished,” Gloria Virginia Schmidt Rodriguez wrote in Wednesday’s filing. “He has gained national and international fame while avoiding any admission of guilt for his conduct against the City of Chicago; he voluntarily forfeited his bond as consideration for some unknown form of quid pro quo agreement with the State’s Attorney’s Office;,and he received widespread media attention for his personal agenda against President Donald J. Trump and for his perceived lack of enthusiasm by Fox Studios in paying attention to his purported hate mail.”
The alleged attack on Smollett purportedly involved two men beating him and putting a noose around his neck. The actor also said the men yelled “MAGA country,” a nod to Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Then-Police Supt. Eddie Johnson later said it was all a publicity stunt concocted because Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary on the Fox TV show “Empire,” and Johnson said a threatening letter sent to Smollett was part of the ruse.
Though Smollett was criminally charged, the case against him was soon dropped in a surprise move by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office. Chicago went on to sue Smollett to recover the $130,106 spent investigating the attack.
In turn, Smollett sued the city, the Chicago Police Department, detectives Michael Theis and Edward Wodnicki, Johnson and the two brothers for malicious prosecution.
Smollett’s lawyers said the 16-count indictment filed against Smollett caused him economic harm, “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.” Nevertheless, they said the case against him ended “in Mr. Smollett’s favor and in a manner which indicates his innocence because all 16 counts of the criminal indictment were dismissed two and a half weeks after the indictment was filed.”
Lawyers for the city disagree, noting in their own filing Wednesday that special prosecutor Dan Webb “is actively investigating Smollett, and a Cook County court has granted him authority to re-indict Smollett. Under these facts, Smollett’s criminal proceedings have not terminated.”