Abel and Ola Osundairo, the brothers who allegedly assisted Jussie Smollett in the staged hate crime in late January, regret their involvement, according to a statement released by their lawyer.
Said the brothers through their attorney Gloria Schmidt: “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.”
Smollett turned himself in to police on February 21.
At a press conference later that morning, speaking of the staged racist and homophobic attack, Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson said, “‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Johnson said “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary, so he concocted a story about being attacked.”
Added Johnson: “I’m left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? … Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who’s in need of support by police and investigators.”
“I’m also concerned about what this means moving forward for hate crimes,” said Johnson. “My concern is that hate crimes will now publicly be met with a level of skepticism that previously didn’t happen.”
Johnson said that police have the $3,500 check that Smollett wrote to the brothers to pay them for the staged attack.
Smollett is due back in court March 14. He has maintained his innocence.