Actor Jussie Smollett has been freed from jail, but his legal woes are far from over. Along with a pending appeal, Smollett’s legal team has filed a new lawsuit against the Osundairo brothers who testified against him.
Smollett, 39, had been accused of staging the January 2019 hate crime against himself. In December 2021, he was found guilty of five out of six counts of disorderly conduct for filing false police reports.
Earlier this month, Judge James Linn sentenced him to 30 months probation and 150 days in the Cook County Jail. He was also ordered to pay a $25,000 dollar fine and $120,106 dollars to the City of Chicago in restitution. However, he only served six days in jail where he reportedly refused food and survived by drinking ice water.
Jussie Smollett’s Legal Team Sues Osundairo Brothers
Smollett’s legal team has brought their own lawsuit for malicious prosecution against both Osundairo brothers. The court documents note that Olabinjo had previously been charged with murder for a 2011 stabbing that occurred in Chicago, Illinois. Shortly after, in 2016, both brothers had filed for bankruptcy and collectively owed more than $120,000 dollars in student loan debt.
They also pointed out that the Osundairo brothers had initially denied ever being involved with the hate crime. Their defense attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriquez was quoted as saying that her clients were “really baffled why they are people of interest. They really don’t understand how they even got information that linked them to this horrific crime. But they’re not guilty of it. They know that the evidence is going to prove them innocent. They sent their best to Jussie.”
They also allege that the brothers’ attorney attempted to defame Smollett by holding a press conference where she stated, “I think that Jussie’s conscious is probably not letting him sleep right now so I think he should unload that conscience and just come out and tell the American people what actually happened.” The court documents state that her remarks about Smollett’s pending case “were a clear violation of the rules of professional conduct.”
Smollett Had A Complicated History With The Osundairo Brothers
As The Blast previously reported, Smollett testified about his relationship with key witness Abimbola Osundairo, who claimed that Smollett paid him and his brother $3,500 dollars to stage the hate crime.
Smollett testified that he met Osundairo at a club while filming season 4 of “Empire.” The two reportedly used cocaine and weed before heading to a bathhouse to do more drugs and “make out.” In Smollett’s words, he admitted that there “was some touching.”
When he took the stand a week before Smollett’s testimony, Osundario had denied that the two had dated and dismissed the notion of sexual tension between them.
Smollett also said that the two were friends and would often drive around together while smoking blunts as part of Smollett’s “creative process.” The prosecution submitted surveillance footage of these rides as part of the evidence that the two were scouting locations for the attack, which is something that Smollett vehemently denied.
New Lawsuits Add To The Drama Surrounding Jussie Smollett
On Friday, a federal judge announced that the key witnesses in Smollett’s trial, Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, would be allowed to sue Smollett’s lawyers for defamation. They both claim that Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, alleged that the pair were liars both on TV and podcasts after charges were pressed against Smollett.
Jussie Smollett’s Attorney Mark Geragos Calls The Lawsuit ‘Frivolous’
Although the Osundairo brothers claim that Smollett’s attorney, Mark Geragos, who is the one bringing the lawsuit, made “false and defamatory” statements against him, Geragos is denying that those statements ever took place. The brothers specifically point to an episode of the podcast “Reasonable Doubt” while aired on April 6, 2019.
The lawsuit filed by the Osundairo brothers claims that Geragos accused them of conspiring “to criminally attack” Smollett. They also allege that he said that they “committed a heinous, racially, and homophobically motivated hate crime, that they lied under oath, and that they lied to CPD [Chicago Police Department].”
However, the court documents claim that “The Defendants never quoted Mr. Geragos directly in the Complaint; rather, they fabricated statements out of thin air and falsely attributed them to Mr. Geragos. In actuality, and as the transcript of the podcast reveals, Mr. Geragos never said anything remotely similar to what the Compliant alleged.”