Attorney Gloria Schmidt told Good Morning America in an interview Monday morning that the Osundairo brothers, the two who allegedly helped Jussie Smollett orchestrate a fake hate crime, feel they were taken advantage of.
Gloria Schmidt, who represents Ola and Abel Osundairo, contended that the two men were betrayed by Smollett, who police say paid the brothers to carry out a staged attack on him in January.
“I really look at the dynamic between loyalty and someone who was in a position of trust with my clients who really just took advantage of them,” Schmidt said Monday on “Good Morning America.”
“They worked with Jussie,” she continued. “They’ve known him. They were friends with him. This was someone who the brothers thought could help their career. Obviously, Mr. Smollett had connections. He had a good position with Fox, so this was someone that they had trusted to consider their best interests.”
Smollett was arrested last month for allegedly orchestrating the attack. He was indicted on 16 counts by a grand jury last week.
Schmidt said Monday that Smollett gave the brothers $3,500 for a personal training program, but said it would be an “easy narrative” to say the the actor only paid for the training.
“It’s unfortunately a very complicated relationship for them, because if you’re friends, and I’m saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to pay you for training, I’m also asking you to do me a favor,’ ” she told host George Stephanopoulos.
She went on to say that the “favor” was to stage the attack.
Smollett’s legal team has maintained his innocence.
Smollett, 36, claimed to police in January that he had been attacked in Chicago by two people who hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him and placed a rope around his neck.
Following his arrest last month, the Chicago Police Department’s superintendent, Eddie Johnson, asserted the actor staged the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.”
Fox removed him from the final two episodes of Season 5 of “Empire” following his arrest.
Jussie is due back in court on March 14.