Crime Jussie Smollett Trial: Brothers Allegedly Hired to Stage Attack to Appear in Court
Jussie Smollett Makes First Red Carpet Appearance in Years Following Alleged Hate Crime Attack
The former Empire actor attended a screening of his new film and directorial debut B-Boy Blues in New York City on Friday evening On Friday evening, the 39-year-old actor attended a screening of his new film B-Boy Blues at the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem multiplex in New York City — his first red carpet since his alleged 2019 hate crime attack in Chicago and subsequent legal troubles. For the outing, the Empire alum wore a black turtleneck and gray jacket as he smiled and posed for cameras before him. "Beyond humbled by last night's screening," Smollett said on his Instagram Story the following day.
As Jussie Smollett stands trial from Monday,, two siblings are expected prove crucial to the outcome.
Former Empire star Smollett had alleged that in January 2019, he was attacked by two men who doused him with bleach and placed a noose around his neck as they yelled that he was in "MAGA country," in apparent reference to former President's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."
Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack
CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett goes to trial Monday on charges that he lied to Chicago police when the former “Empire” actor and R&B singer reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack nearly three years ago. Some key moments in the story: Jan. 22, 2019 — Smollett receives a racist and homophobic threatening letter at the studio in Chicago where "Empire" is filmed. Police later say they believe Smollett sent the letter himself. Jan. 29, 2019— Jussie Smollett tells police he was attacked by two men in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m.
In a twist worthy of Smollett's melodramatic TV show, brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo—known as Abel and Ola, respectively—later alleged that they had been paid $3,500 by the actor to stage the attack so that the star could land a pay rise for his role as Jamal Lyon on Empire.
Smollett was arrested on February 21, 2019, on 16 counts of filing a false police report, charges to which he pleaded "not guilty." The charges were dismissed on March 26, 2019 without public explanation.
However, an investigation into why the charges were dropped was launched in August 2019, with a grand jury returning a six-count indictment against Smollett, accusing him of lying to police.
He has pleaded not guilty to the felony disorderly conduct, a class 4 felony that carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.
Jussie Smollett's Trial Begins as Actor Faces Charges He Faked Racist Attack
Former "Empire" star Jussie Smollett has been accused of orchestrating an alleged racist and homophobic attack on himself in Chicago almost three years ago.The former Empire star, 39, alleged that he was attacked on the streets of downtown Chicago on January 29, 2019. However, brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo have alleged that he paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.
At the center of the trial are the Osundairo brothers, who served as extras on Empire and had maintained contact with Smollett afterward.
While they are expected to portray the actor as the director a grand hoax, Smollett's attorney has alleged that Abimbola told Olabinjo to attack the star to prove Abimbola was not gay.
The brothers flew out to Nigeria hours after Smollett reported that they had been attacked. When they returned to the U.S., they were arrested and later released without charge.
Prosecutors said in February 2019 that Abimbola became friends with Smollett in the fall of 2017, after meeting on the set of Empire, where Abimbola served as a stand-in for a character portraying Smollett's character's love interest on the show.
One of the brothers had become a personal trainer for Smollett, according to an attorney for the actor. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, it has also been alleged that Abimbola had, on occasion, sold Smollett the drug ecstasy.
Jussie Smollett's trial starts today. This is how we got here
Jury selection starts Monday in the trial of former "Empire" star Jussie Smollett, who is accused of making false reports to authorities that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019. © Rob Kim/Getty Images NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Director Jussie Smollett attends the New York Screening of "B-Boy Blues" at AMC Magic Johnson Harlem on November 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images) Smollett, 39, was indicted on six counts last year by a Cook County, Illinois, grand jury, but the actor has insisted on his innocence, repeatedly denying he orchestrated the attack.
Citing court records, the Sun-Times also reported that Olabinjo was charged with attempted murder in a 2011 stabbing in Chicago. He is said to have reached a plea deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to aggravated battery, for which he was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to pay a $674 fine.
The Sun-Times additionally reports that the brothers filed for bankruptcy in September 2016, after collectively owing more than $120,000 in student loans.
According to the newspaper, they launched a party and decoration business in 2015 called The B's Osundairo, which operated out of a South Side Chicago building owned by their parents.
After "operating at a loss," the business was dissolved in May 2018, the Sun-Times cited court and state business records as showing. Olabinjo Osundairo reportedly went on to co-found a home remodeling company in 2017.
The brothers—who played college football at Quincy University, according to the school's website—had built a social media presence for themselves through their numerous bodybuilding posts on social media.
Jussie Smollett Trial: Previously Dismissed Charges Could Help His Case—Attorney
Criminal defense lawyer Julie Rendelman speaks to Newsweek about how strong the case against Jussie Smollett is.The actor had claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on the streets of Chicago back in January 2019. Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo later alleged that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack as part of a bid to be paid more money on his show, Empire.
Videos uploaded on anaccount appearing to belong to Abimbola Osundairo show that he has also ventured into boxing.
In and outside court, Smollett fights for reputation, career .
CHICAGO (AP) — Outside the courtroom where former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is fighting charges accusing him of lying to Chicago police about being the victim of an anti-gay, racist attack, his publicist has introduced a roster of supporters to the assembled TV cameras. Renowned opera singer Lauren Michelle, who also appeared on “Empire," spoke of how one of her best friends from high school has maintained his humanity despite the attacks on his character. Smollett's pastor from New York, Damon Marks, said the person prosecutors are portraying in court is not “the Jussie I know.