Abimbola “Bola” Osundairo revealed how his friendship with Jussie Smollett helped boost his own acting career before his involvement in the Empire star’s shocking staged hate crime that put him behind bars for several months.
In a sneak peek for Fox Nation‘s upcoming docuseries, Jussie Smollett: Anatomy of a Hoax, Osundairo shared that he initially became pals with Smollett through friends.
“My first impression of him was ‘okay, this dude is cool. He’s like everybody else,'” Osundairo explained of their early relationship. “He seemed genuine and authentic as a person.”
“We would go out to nightclubs, go to a bar and just chill and relax. There was a few times I came to his house and watched tv,” he continued. “…From nightclubs, we would go to the infamous bathhouses.”
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“He was a lead actor on Empire, which means, being friends with him he could help you out,” Osundairo, who is also an actor, added. “He helped me get a stand-in role on Empire.”
“When he directed [an episode], he put me in certain positions while I was a featured background artist, so that was beneficial,” he shared, noting that on set, Smollett was” very personable” and “seemed easily approachable.”
As OK! previously reported, Abimbola and his brother Olabinjo Osundairo helped Smollett stage a hate crime against himself in January 2019. The brothers were caught on camera appearing to punch and even put a noose around the neck of the Mighty Ducks actor while shouting “this is MAGA country” at him.
Smollett was later found guilty of five of six felony disorderly conduct charges, and on March 10, 2022, the now 40-year-old was sentenced to 150 days in prison, 2.5 years of probation and a $25,000 fine for lying to authorities about the faked attack.
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The five-part series, which will explore the “scam that reverberated through the worlds of entertainment, pop culture and politics,” is set to be released on Fox on Monday, March 13.