The two Nigerian brothers allegedly involved in the racially tainted attack on actor/singer Jussie Smollett are suing his attorneys for defamation, according to multiple news sources. Ola and Abel Osundairo are accusing Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian of Smollett’s legal team of falsely accusing them of an actual hate crime.
Last month, Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx dropped disorderly conduct charges against Smollett, who had been accused of paying the Osundairo brothers $3,500 to stage a homophobic and racist attack on him on Jan. 29. The mayor and police chief expressed dismay over Foxx’s decision, and have demanded he pay thousands back that the city of Chicago spent investigating the supposed hate crime, which they claim Smollett set up himself to increase his value as an actor on the hit TV series “Empire.”
Although prosecutors insisted they do not believe Smollett is innocent, Glandian and Geragos have maintained the Osundairo brothers actually attacked Smollett. “Defendants made these comments knowing they were untrue to distract from Mr. Smollett’s farce and to promote themselves and the Geragos & Geragos Law Firm,” the Osundairo brothers’ lawsuit alleges, according to CNN and CBS news. “Statements indicating Plaintiffs actually criminally battered Mr. Smollett without his consent are patently false and defamatory, as Mr. Smollett originated, planned and orchestrated the attack.”
The brothers’ lawsuit alleges defamation and false light by Glandian for saying that the two attacked Smollett, dealt steroids and inferred that one of the brothers engaged is sexual relations with Smollett.
“In short, Mr. Smollett used his clout as a wealthy actor to influence Plaintiffs, who were in a subordinate relationship to him and were aspiring to ‘make it’ in Hollywood,” said the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. “He wanted his employer and the public to notice and appreciate him as a successful Black, openly gay actor. So, Mr. Smollett directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose.”
The lawsuit also names Geragos, who is the lead attorney at the firm that employs Glandian. Geragos said the lawsuit “lacks any legal footing.” Meanwhile, “Empire” producers have removed Smollett from the cast, although it is not known if the move is permanent or not.