The Osundairo brothers, the two men who allegedly helped Jussie Smollett stage a hate crime against himself in January, expressed "tremendous regret" for their involvement in the hoax, and claimed that they were "taken advantage of" by the Empire actor.
In addition to clarifying her clients' involvement, Schmidt noted that the $3,500 check Smollett paid the Osundairo brothers was for personal training and in an implied way, for helping him carry out the attack. "It's unfortunately, a very complicated relationship for them because if you are friends and I'm saying, 'Hey, I am going to pay you for training, I am also asking you to do me a favor'... and the favor was to stage the attack," she explained.
Abindola and Olabinjo were arrested on Feb. 13 in connection with the attack on Smollett. Early in the investigation, Chicago police identified that one of the brothers had worked as Smollett's personal trainer, and the other had appeared as an extra on Empire. Two days after the alleged suspects were arrested, they were released from police custody, which is when news outlets began reporting that Smollett may have orchestrated the entire stunt.
As evidence began to mount against Smollett, he was officially classified as a suspect late last month. While his intent has not been definitively specified, many have suspected that Smollett carried out the attack for publicity purposes, and/or in order to secure higher pay for his role in the Fox series.
On March 8, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts for lying to the police regarding his attack. The Cook Country grand jury laid out two sets of charges, one regarding the information he gave to police the night of the alleged hoax, and the other based on the second interview he gave later that day.