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23 Apr, 2019 17:11

‘We don’t have hate for anyone’: Nigerian brothers sue Jussie Smollett’s lawyers for defamation

‘We don’t have hate for anyone’: Nigerian brothers sue Jussie Smollett’s lawyers for defamation

Two Nigerian brothers who say actor Jussie Smollett paid them to beat him up as part of an elaborate hoax are suing his lawyers for defamation over allegations made about them, including that one engaged in sex acts with Smollett.

In late January, Smollett claimed he had been attacked by two masked men who made racist and homophobic slurs during the assault, and tied a rope around his neck. He also claimed they had made reference to Donald Trump’s famous slogan, ‘Make America great again’.

Also on rt.com Grand jury indicts Jussie Smollett on 16 counts for faking ‘racist & homophobic’ attack on himself

The incident sparked a public outcry and was investigated as a hate crime. However, Chicago police found that Smollett himself had orchestrated the attack as an elaborate hoax and indicted him for disorderly conduct for allegedly paying two men to help him stage the entire thing. The charges were dropped by Chicago prosecutors, but the FBI and Department of Justice are reviewing that decision.

Brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo are now suing Smollett’s attorneys for making what they say are defamatory statements falsely claiming the two men launched a “criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr Smollett,” their suit says.

According to the lawsuit, the actor’s lawyers suggested that the reason he initially said his ‘attackers’ were white might have been because the two men wore white makeup. Earlier this month, one of the lawyers claimed in a podcast interview that the brothers were involved in illegal steroid trafficking, and that one had engaged briefly in homosexual acts with Smollett.

Also on rt.com Nigerian brothers paid to beat up Jussie Smollett 'might have worn WHITEFACE,' lawyer says

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the Osundairo’s lawyer Gloria Schmidt said her clients deserve to have their reputations restored, and have lost work as a result of the Smollett stunt. Schmidt also said that while the pair took part in the stunt, they cooperated with police and told the truth.

In a statement, the brothers said that comments from Smollett’s lawyers “are destroying our character and our reputation and our personal and professional lives,” Fox reports. “Those who know us personally know we don't have hate for anyone...We will no longer sit back and allow these lies to continue.” They also denied the accusations of drug trafficking and homosexuality, saying such claims put their lives in danger in Nigeria where same sex activity is illegal.

Earlier this month, Smollett was sent a $130,000 city bill to reimburse the cost of the seven-day investigation into his assault claims. The actor refused to pay, and is now facing a lawsuit from the city to recoup the costs plus damages.

Also on rt.com Smollett sued by Chicago for ‘refusing to reimburse’ costs of ‘staged’ hate crime

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