The brothers who claim they were paid by “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to stage a racist, homophobic attack against him have now stated they are u
The brothers who claim they were paid by “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to stage a racist, homophobic attack against him have now stated they are unwilling to testify against him.
Brothers Abel and Ola Osundario were thrust into the public eye in 2019 when they told the police that the actor had paid them $3,500 to jump him on a Chicago street in an effort to raise his profile because he was unhappy with his role on the Fox drama.
The brothers had originally been cooperating with law enforcement as it tried to determine whether or not Smollett faked the ordeal. They were on board to testify against the “Empire” actor but they’ve now changed their mind due in part to how police are handling evidence seized from their home more than a year ago.
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Their attorney, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, told CBS 2 in Chicago that the Osundario brothers have changed their mind because they feel the Chicago Police Department is withholding some of the items seized from their home in a Feb. 2019 raid that was executed while they were still suspects. However, the duo claims they are still being treated like suspects and that items seized in the raid are still being kept from them.
“It’s been over a year and they need to give us our stuff back,” Abel Osundairo told the outlet.
He added: “I would understand if we were defendants in the case, which we are not.”
Reportedly among the items seized during that raid was a 9mm gun and ammunition that Abel owned legally.
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Abel filed a police report and the brothers are allegedly in an administrative dispute with the police department to try and secure their property. CBS 2 confirmed that Chicago police are still in possession of the weapon, which is being preserved as evidence. Police said they will comply with a judge’s order to turn over any evidence.
Schmidt Rodriguez’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Smollett. 37, was initially accused by Cook County prosecutors of falsely reporting to police that the alleged phony attack was real. Sixteen counts of disorderly conduct originally filed against him were dismissed and Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin found Smollett’s first prosecution was invalid.
After another investigation by special prosecutor Dan Webb, six counts of the same charges were filed against Smollett, to which he pleaded not guilty earlier this year.
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Smollett, who is black and gay, told police at the time of the alleged attack that two masked men attacked him as he was walking home in the early hours of Jan. 29, 2019. He said they made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing, and that at least one of his attackers was a white man who told him he was in “MAGA country,” a reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”