Patricia Brown Holmes, Jussie Smollett’s attorney, spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning following news that all charges against the Empire star had been dropped.
After thanking the state’s attorney and the people of Chicago, Holmes flipped the script and suggested an investigation be opened into the two brothers previously connected to the alleged January attack on Smollett.
While speaking at a press conference after an emergency hearing, Holmes said, “The Osundairo brothers said more than once that the $3,500 check they received was for exactly what Jussie said. It was for nutrition and training. They were his trainers.”
She continued, “The two men who attacked him [Smollett] have indicated that they attacked him, so we already know who attacked him.”
Holmes was clear that she wanted for the two men to have their due process in the court of law: “We don’t want to try them in the press any more than [Smollett] wanted to be tried in the press,” she said.
Brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who are Black and of Nigerian descent, were detained as suspects in the reported hate crime attack and interrogated by police on February 13. They were released without charges the next day.
The Chicago Police Department released a statement following their release, with spokesman Anthony Guglielmi saying at the time, “Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”
Gloria Schmidt, legal counsel for the two brothers, said they expressed "regret" over the entire incident. "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," Schmidt said to CNN.com.
Former extras on Fox’s Empire, the brothers were named as suspects after Smollett told authorities he was physically assaulted by two men who used racist and homophobic slurs during their attack.
The two men were captured on surveillance video in the area where Smollett claimed he was attacked. Police reportedly uncovered a black face mask, an Empire script and bleach when they searched the home of the two men. They were apprehended at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport as they were returning from a trip to Nigeria, CBS reports.
At this time, it’s not clear whether or not the Illinois State’s Attorney or Chicago Police Department will continue to investigate the Osundairo brothers.
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
TRENDING IN NEWS