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Jussie Smollett case: The 'Empire' actor's lawyer says brothers are 'absolutely' lying

The $3,500 check that the Osundairo brothers received from Smollett was for personal training and nutrition for an upcoming music video, the lawyer said.
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Jussie Smollett's attorney said police and the Osundairo brothers — the two men officers said Smollett hired to attack him in a staged hate crime — lied about why the "Empire" actor paid the duo thousands of dollars.

Tina Glandian, one of Smollett's lawyers, said Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Ola and Abel Osundairo did receive a check from the actor for $3,500 but said it was for personal training and nutrition for an upcoming music video.

She said the claim that the money was payment for the brothers to stage the assault was a lie and pinned some of the blame on Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

"This is again one of the misstatements out there that Eddie Johnson went and held this press conference and said that the check was for the staged attack," she said.

When asked if the Osundairo brothers were also lying, Glandian responded: "Absolutely."

Image: Suspects in attack of actor Jussie Smollett
Suspects in the alleged racist and homophobic attack of actor Jussie Smollett as released by the Chicago Police Dept.Chicago Police Dept

At a news conference Tuesday, Patricia Brown Holmes, another lawyer for Smollett, said that investigators need to look at the role the brothers played in the attack.

“The two men who attacked him have indicated that they attacked him, so we already know who attacked him,” Holmes said.

Smollett, who is black and gay, told police Jan. 29 that two masked men hurled racist and homophobic slurs before beating him, putting a noose around his neck and pouring what he said was bleach on him.

The actor, 36, became a suspect in the case after Chicago police said he staged the crime because he was unhappy with his salary on the show "Empire." The Osundairo brothers, who were seen on surveillance video walking near where the assault happened, were taken into custody in February but later released by police, who said they were not considered suspects in the case.

Smollett was arrested in February and indicted earlier this month by a grand jury on 16 felony counts for allegedly filing a false police report.

In a reversal Tuesday, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office said it was dropping all charges against Smollett in exchange for him doing community service and forfeiting his bond.

"We did not exonerate Mr. Smollett. The charges were dropped in return for Mr. Smollett's agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago," the office said in a statement.

Following the announcement by the State's Attorney's Office, Smollett thanked his supporters and said he has been "truthful" from the beginning.

Police Superintendent Johnson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, however, blasted prosecutors and lashed out at Smollett.

"This is without a doubt, a whitewash of justice and sends a clear message that if you are in a position of influence and power you'll get treated one way, other people will be treated another way, " Emanuel said angrily at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

"Do I think justice was served? No," Johnson said. "I think this city is still owed an apology."

Glandian said on "Good Morning America" that she doesn't think Emanuel's statements were warranted.

"I understand why everyone is so confused by the turn of events in the case, but keep in mind the actions of this case speak a lot louder than words do," she said, adding: "I think if they [prosecutors] believed the charges, they never would have dismissed the case."