Jussie Smollett Case: Brothers Involved in Incident Express 'Tremendous Regret'

By
Jussie Smollett
ET Online

The two brothers who claim that Jussie Smollett hired them to stage his attack are expressing their regret over their involvement in the case.

Ola and Abel Osundairo released a statement to CBS Chicago via their lawyer, stating: “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.”

The Osundairo brothers claimed that the Empire actor paid them $3,500 to stage his attack in January. The two men were captured in surveillance video purchasing ski masks and a red hat, the same items that Smollett claimed his attackers wore when they beat him.

Smollett has maintained that he is a victim and has denied all the allegations that he staged the incident via his attorney last week. However, Smollett was arrested on Feb. 21 after being charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report in which he claimed he was the victim of a hate crime.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," Smollett's lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, told ET. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

The actor was then released after he posted $10,000 of his $100,000 bond. Since then, executive producers of Empire have released a statement explaining that they would be removing Smollett's role from the last two episodes of this season of the Fox drama.

"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply," the statement reads. "While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out."

"We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of Jamal from the final two episodes of the season,” the statement adds.

Smollett's next hearing is set for March 14. For more on the scandal, watch below.

RELATED CONTENT:

Terrence Howard Expresses Support for Jussie Smollett After Felony Charge: 'We Love the Hell Outta You'

Jussie Smollett Dropped From 'Empire' for Remainder of Season

Jussie Smollett 'Feels Betrayed' By Legal System After Felony Disorderly Conduct Charge

Related Gallery