Jussie Smollett Attorney Suggests Black Brothers Who Allegedly Attacked Actor Wore ‘Whiteface’

One of Jussie Smollett’s attorneys said that the black brothers who allegedly attacked her client on Jan. 29 in Chicago could have been wearing “whiteface.”

Tina Glandian appeared on ABC on March 28 to defend her client after Chicago police and the city’s mayor slammed an agreement that saw 16 felony counts against him dropped without admission of wrongdoing.

Police arrested Ola and Abel Osundairo in mid-February and later said the brothers told them Smollett paid them to fake the attack in the hope that the “Empire” actor’s salary would be increased.

When host Savannah Guthrie on Monday questioned how Smollett originally said his attackers were white, Glandian suggested they whitened their faces.

“Smollett was very clear on the night of the attack that his attackers were white. He said they had masks on and gloves but he saw their eyes and skin surrounding their eyes,” Guthrie said. Smollett also claimed that one of the attackers shouted “This is MAGA country,” in an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” or “MAGA.”

“Just to be clear he only saw one of his attackers,” Glandian responded. “He saw through the ski mask—again he could not see his body, everything was covered and he had a ski mask on, except the area around the eyes—he did tell police that he, from what he saw, he thought it was pale skin, or, white or pale skin.

“He could have said I don’t know,” Guthrie said. “But the Osundairo brothers, what are the chances that that’s the case, that he saw somebody with white skin?” she added. The Osundairos are Americans of Nigerian descent.

“Well you know, I mean, I think obviously you can disguise that. You can put makeup on, there is actually interestingly enough a video—I think police did minimal investigation in this case—it took me all of five minutes to Google, I was looking up the brothers, and one of the first videos that showed up was the brothers in whiteface doing the Joker monologue.”

Abel Osundairo, left, and his brother Ola Osundairo
Abel Osundairo, left, and his brother Ola Osundairo, in a file photo. The Nigerian brothers were arrested in connection with the alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett but were released after reportedly telling detectives Smollett paid them to stage the attack. (Team Abel/Instagram)
NTD Photo
One of the Osundairo brothers pretending to be The Joker in a 2016 video. (Bola/YouTube)

Guthrie then wondered how, if the attack happened as Smollett claimed it did, how the actor did not recognize the voices of the Osundairos, two men whom he worked with on the set of “Empire,” who he had hired as trainers, and who he, according to police, spoke to on the phone both before and after the alleged attack.

“He had literally just hung up the phone with one of them,” she said.

“Sure,” Glandian said. “People say this as if this is a regular interaction, if you’re walking in the street and somebody screams and before you can even process what they look like you’ve been punched in the face and next thing you’re on the floor and being kicked.”

She added, “This is a very brief interaction, 30 or 45 seconds, with your head being thrown around by punches, this isn’t somebody that is digesting what is happening.”

NTD Photo
This image provided by the Chicago Police Department and taken from surveillance video shows two people of interest in an attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett walking along a street in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, early Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. The pair was later identified as Abel and Ola Osundairo. (Courtesy of Chicago Police Department via AP)

The Osundairo brothers haven’t spoken since the charges were dropped on Tuesday.

Gloria Schmidt, the attorney who was representing them, said later that day that since the criminal investigation was over, she was no longer representing them.

Schmidt told WGN-TV that her clients were telling the truth about Smollett paying them to fake the alleged attack and that they were prepared to testify in court.

“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it,” Schmidt said. “For the State’s Attorney’s office to drop it completely, and not consult with the victim, and with the complaining witnesses, and the key witnesses in this case, I think is baffling.”

Hitting back at Smollett’s legal team trying to lay blame on the brothers, the attorney added: “I think that people need a reason to heal and while it might be easier to blame the Osundario brothers, it might be easier to do that to conclude that matter, but it’s just not the case.”

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