CHICAGO (AP) – Two brothers who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself are suing the “Empire” actor’s attorneys for defamation.
A lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday in Chicago on behalf of the brothers. It names Mark Geragos and his law firm as defendants.
The suit alleges that Geragos and his firm continued to say publicly in widely reported statements that the brothers “led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett,” even though they knew that wasn’t true.
Police allege that Smollett paid the brothers to help him stage a Jan. 29 attack in which he said two masked men beat him, hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, doused him with some sort of chemical substance and looped a rope around his neck.
Smollett, who is black and gay, maintains that the attack wasn’t staged.