The two Nigerian brothers at the center of the Jussie Smollett case are looking at Smollett’s possible trial on a new indictment as a chance to get the truth before the public, according to their lawyer.
On Tuesday, Smollett was charged six counts of disorderly conduct related to false statements that he allegedly made to Chicago police officers, according to The New York Times. Smollett has insisted he is not guilty.
The Smollett case began last January when the actor, who is black and gay, claimed he was attacked in a racist and homophobic crime that he linked to President Donald Trump by claiming the attackers, who put a noose around his neck, shouted, “This is MAGA country!”
The story eventually unraveled, and Smollett was charged with filing a false report in a case that shook Chicago.
The criminal case against Smollett originally ended when prosecutor Kim Foxx’s office dropped the charges against Smollett in exchange for community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb was brought in to review the case, resulting in the indictments handed up Tuesday.
Abel and Ola Osundairo, two Nigerian bodybuilders, have said they were Smollett’s accomplices in staging the hoax.
Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, their attorney, told the U.K. Daily Mail that the brothers are ready to testify if the Smollett case goes to trial.
“They have no ill will towards Mr. Smollett. They really feel like their role in this now is to be honest about what they know,” she said Wednesday. “They hope he can be honest about what he knows.”
Schmidt Rodriquez said the brothers still feel tainted by the incident
“They don’t feel vindicated. A real vindication would be when a court of law says, ‘OK Mr. Smollett — you were guilty of lying.’ At that point they would,” she said.
If the brothers had known what they were in for when Smollett asked for their help, they would have walked away, the lawyer said.
“If they would have known the fallout they would have never done this. They would have said, ‘Ugh Jussie — thanks for nothing,'” she said.
Schmidt Rodriguez told Page Six that the brothers have suffered from the incident.
“It’s been really hard for them, they’ve tried to kind of jump back into the life they had [and] they couldn’t,” she said.
“They were getting four to five auditions a month before, that’s completely dried up. Their talent agent dropped them,” she added, “they’re eating at the food pantry. It’s not going well for them.”
The lawyer said her clients want a resolution to the incident.
“This is the end of the beginning for them, they know there’s a long road ahead and there’s a lot of things that need to happen before a jury or judge finds they’re truthful,” she said.
“They have no real skin in the game, they just know their role is to be honest and tell the truth about what happened,” she added.
Schmidt Rodriguez said “vindication will come at the end when there’s a total resolution.”
“Whatever shape that takes, whether it’s him fessing up, I think calling him a liar is not in their code, they wouldn’t want to make such a bold statement they just know he’s not being in accord with the facts,” she said.
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