A lawyer representing two brothers who became embroiled in the apparent fake hate crime against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is pointing the finger, and she’s pointing it at Smollett.
The actor, meanwhile, is maintaining his innocence after an Illinois grand jury on Friday indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report in connection with the incident.
Attorney Gloria Schmidt, who represents brothers Abindola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, said today that her clients were taken advantage of by a trusted friend, meaning Smollett. Schmidt discussed the case during an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“My clients were just taken advantage of by someone they trusted,” Schmidt said. “This was someone who the brothers thought could help their career. … Someone they had trusted to consider their best interest.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reports: “Schmidt said the $3,500 check they were paid, which was marked as a payment for a personal training program, was also intended, in a nuanced way, for the staged attack.”
The paper quotes Schmidt saying: “They were paid for the training . . . but they were also asked to do this favor for him.”
Schmidt also said of the brothers: “They’re working very hard right now to piece their lives together. … They know that this has impacted a lot of minority populations, so they’re working very hard to just move this in a positive direction.”
Meanwhile, attorney Mark Geragos, who’s representing Smollett, continues to maintain Smollett’s innocence. On Friday Geragos expressed outrage at the 16-count indictment.
For more on that part of the story, here’s how “GMA” covered it late last week, including some of Geragos’ comments …