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Nigerian brothers speak out as they arrive at court for fourth day of Jussie Smollett’s trial

Testimony in Jussie Smollett‘s criminal trial will continue on Thursday, a day after the jury heard from one of the two brothers Smollett allegedly hired to orchestrate a fake hate crime against him.

The former Empire star’s alleged attempt to fake an anti-gay hate crime included a plot to ensure footage of the beating could be widely shared, Abimbola Osundairo told Smollett’s trial for allegedly lying to police on Wednesday.  

On day four, the Osundario brothers arrived accompanied by their attorney at approximately 8:45 a.m.

Olabinjo Osundario told DailyMail.com exclusively: ‘the jig has been up for two years man,’ when asked how he feels about his testimony could help convict the former Empire actor.

Abimbola, who walked into court with him before he testifies for a second consecutive day, added they also added that he still considers Jussie, ‘a brother, always a brother.’

When pressed about prior testimony about accompanying Jussie to strip clubs and bathhouses, his attorney said, ‘he can’t talk about it right now, you’ll hear it.’

Smollett and his entourage arrived about 10 minutes later and he refused to answer any questions.

Attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez (pictured center) walks with her clients Abimbola Osundairo (left) and Olabinjo Osundairo on their way to day four of the trial

Jussie Smollett arrives as his trial continues at the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago

Jussie Smollett arrives as his trial continues at the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago

Abimbola, who walked into court with his brother, added they also added that he still considers Jussie, ‘a brother, always a brother.’

Olabinjo Osundario told DailyMail.com exclusively: ‘the jig has been up for two years man,’ when asked how he feels about his testimony could help convict the former Empire actor

On day four, the Osundario brothers arrived accompanied by their attorney at approximately 8:45 a.m.

Smollett is accused of lying to police when he reported he was the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago nearly three years ago

Smollett is accused of lying to police when he reported he was the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago nearly three years ago 

The two Osundairo brothers allege that Smollett set them up to perform the attack

The two Osundairo brothers allege that Smollett set them up to perform the attack

The intimate relationship between the two was further revealed by Osunadaio’s diet plan for Smollett, on trial for six counts of disorderly conduct over claims he lied to police that he’d suffered a homophobic attack.

Shortly before the attack took place, Smollett asked Osundairo, a fitness expert, to help him get in shape for an upcoming music video shoot, the court heard. That saw the man subsequently held in jail for allegedly attacking Smollett prepare a meal plan that included StarKist tuna, chicken thighs, avocados and shots of apple cider vinegar. 

Osundairo said he didn’t charge Smollett for the help, as the performer usually picked up the tab when they went out together.  

Those claims are in marked contrast to Smollett’s attorneys insistence that the Osundairos are homophobes and sophisticated criminals who targeted the actor.  

Abel Osundairo took the stand on Wednesday afternoon to testify how Smollett had hired him and his brother, Ola, to attack Smollett in a faked hate crime. He told the court that he visited 'clubs, stripclubs and bathhouses' with Smollett when they were friends, and would buy drugs for him

Abel Osundairo took the stand on Wednesday afternoon to testify how Smollett had hired him and his brother, Ola, to attack Smollett in a faked hate crime. He told the court that he visited ‘clubs, stripclubs and bathhouses’ with Smollett when they were friends, and would buy drugs for him

Osundairo, who is Nigerian, also told the court how he and Smollett, who is gay, would frequent bathhouses and strip clubs together before the beating, which Smollett denies faking. 

Abel Osundairo took the stand on Wednesday afternoon to testify how Smollett had hired him and his brother, Ola, to attack Smollett in a faked hate crime.    

Brothers Ola and Bola Osundairo told police that Smollett hired them to beat him because he felt producers of the show he starred on, Empire, didn’t do enough to protect him after he received a racist and homophobic letter on set. 

The brothers also told police that Smollett sent himself the letter for attention, according to police sources. 

On his way in to court, Abel – who has been accused of being homophobic – was calm as he breezed up the courthouse steps. 

‘I’m here to do what I’ve got to do. Not to tell my truth but to tell the truth. You don’t have to be nervous when you got the truth on your side,’ he said. 

Once he was on the stand, he told the jury that he and Smollett were friends after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance. He then said he’d brief part on Empire, standing in for one of Smollett’s love interests. 

Throughout their friendship, he testified that he and Smollett visited ‘clubs, stripclubs and a bathhouse’ together. He said the pair attended one of Smollett’s concerts, and that Smollett asked him to buy him ‘weed, cocaine and molly.’  

A close up of the bottle of hot sauce that detective Theis confirmed was found by a reporter, not police

A close up of the bottle of hot sauce that detective Theis confirmed was found by a reporter, not police

A Chicago Crime Scene Investigator photographs a bottle of hot sauce that may have been overlooked by police when they first looked over the crime scene

A Chicago Crime Scene Investigator photographs a bottle of hot sauce that may have been overlooked by police when they first looked over the crime scene

'Jussie Smollett is a real victim,' attorney Nenye Uche (center, pictured in August 2021) said during opening statements Monday

‘Jussie Smollett is a real victim,’ attorney Nenye Uche (center, pictured in August 2021) said during opening statements Monday

Special prosecutor Dan Webb arrives in court on Wednesday morning ahead of the third day of Jussie Smollett's trial

Special prosecutor Dan Webb arrives in court on Wednesday morning ahead of the third day of Jussie Smollett’s trial

The Osandairo brothers (pictured) are expected to testify later this week but it remains unclear if Smollett himself will testify

 The Osandairo brothers (pictured) are expected to testify later this week but it remains unclear if Smollett himself will testify

The actor told police that his attackers used racist and homophobic slurs, wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an ‘unknown substance’ on him. Police say Smollett, who is Black and gay, told detectives the attackers also yelled he was in ‘MAGA country’ 

So far jurors have been presented evidence seeming to back up claims that Smollett corroborated with the brothers on the attack, including text exchanges between Smollett and the brothers from February 14, 2019, the day Smollett appeared on Good Morning America tearfully to talk about the attack.

He texted one of the brothers that day, after they had been taken into custody and said: ‘Brother I love you. I stand with you. I know 100 percent you and your brother did nothing wrong. Please hit me when they let you go. I stand behind you fully.’

At his trial, Chicago detective Michael Theis testified that the men who carried out the attack – Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo – confessed that it was a hoax when they were taken into custody on February 14.

He said it was unusual that Smollett insisted he was ‘making a statement,’ while he had never done so publicly and still hasn’t.

‘To this day, has Mr. Smollett ever come clean about this hate crime?’ deputy special prosecutor Samuel Mendenhall asked Theis.

‘Not that I’m aware of,’ Theis said.

On January 22, 2019, seven days before the attack, Smollett received a letter at the studios of Empire which called him the N-word and a ‘f****t.’

When the brothers were question by police, they said that Smollett had hired them because he was annoyed that producers at Empire didn’t take the letter seriously enough, or make enough of a fuss over it, according to Theis. He paid them $3,500 – which he claims was for personal training – and took them through a rehearsal of the attack on January 25 before the ‘dry run’ on two days before the attack on January 27, Theis said.

Theis also testified that after the initial attack was reported to police, Smollett ‘tightened’ the rope that the brothers had put around his neck to make it more like a noose before cops arrived at his apartment.

Under cross-examination by Smollett’s attorney however, he admitted that he’d heard from another member of the Empire cast that Bola, who’d worked on set, attacked them for being gay. The police never followed it up.

Smollett’s attorney also prompted him to reveal they had found homophobic social media posts on the brothers’ phone, where homosexual men were referred to as ‘fruits’.

They intend to argue that the pair pretended to befriend Jussie, with the intention of later attacking him for being gay.

The first day of the trial was chaotic, with confusing instructions from the judge on whether or not media was allowed to be present for jury selection.

At first, Judge James Linn said no media would be allowed in the room because of COVID social distancing restrictions.

He then allowed two reporters – one from The Chicago Tribune and one from ABC – to go inside and report on behalf of all of the media.

Now, no more journalists are being granted access to the section reserved for the media because Judge Linn thinks it breaches COVID restrictions.

The jury consists of five white men, one black man, five white women and one Hispanic woman. There are also two alternatives.

Uche told the jury in opening arguments that the brothers, who will testify, will ‘lie to your face’.

He said Smollett would never have been ‘stupid enough’ to orchestrate the fake attack and pay for it.

Smollett arrived at court on Tuesday morning with his mother Janet, sister Jurnee and other relatives.

He has been supported throughout by his family, and says he is the victim of a rush to judgement by the Chicago Police Department.

He has always claimed that he didn’t want to cooperate with the investigation by handing his phone over or giving DNA swabs because the police department was leaking information to the media from the beginning of the probe. 

Smollett’s defense claims he didn’t know it was Ola and Bola who attacked him because they were in disguise and wearing masks. He maintains that he thought one of them was white, and claims the brothers are ‘sophisticated criminals’ who set the attack up after pretending to befriend him. 

On Wednesday, the third day of the trial, Chicago Police Department Detective Kimberly Murray testified that she went to the hospital to interview Smollett after the incident and noticed he had ‘minor’ injuries on his face. 

She told the court in Chicago that he couldn’t understand why the attack hadn’t been caught on surveillance cameras and was ‘upset’, that it hadn’t. 

Abel and Ola Osundairo's lawyers said on Wednesday night that they 'manned up' by telling police that Smollett paid them 

Abel and Ola Osundairo are the brothers who say Smollett paid them to attack him. They are expected to take the stand as witnesses at the trial, and to repeat their previous claim that he paid them $3500 to stage the attack

Murray is now being cross-examined by Jussie’s defense team. 

Yesterday, Chicago Detective Michael Theis told the jury of six men and six women – ten of whom are white, one of whom is black and one of whom is Hispanic – that the entire police department was determined to find who was responsible for the attack when they first believed it was a hate crime. 

‘It was horrible. It was a hate crime. The noose. 

‘The bleach. Everyone from the mayor on down wanted answers,’ Theis testified, according to CBS Chicago, which Judge James Linn allowed into the courtroom on Tuesday morning, after refusing to let most journalists inside for jury selection then limiting the number who he will allow to observe the trial because of COVID restrictions. 

Theis also testified that after the initial attack was reported to police, Smollett ‘tightened’ the rope that the brothers had put around his neck to make it more like a noose before cops arrived at his apartment.

Under cross-examination by Smollett’s attorney however, he admitted that he’d heard from another member of the Empire cast that Bola, who’d worked on set, attacked them for being gay. The police never followed it up. 

Smollett’s attorney also prompted him to reveal they had found homophobic social media posts on the brothers’ phone, where homosexual men were referred to as ‘fruits’. 

Abel Osundairo is shown arriving at court to testify on Wednesaday with his attorney. He said he was not nervous because he had 'the truth on his side'

Abel Osundairo is shown arriving at court to testify on Wednesaday with his attorney. He said he was not nervous because he had 'the truth on his side'

Abel Osundairo is shown arriving at court to testify on Wednesaday with his attorney. He said he was not nervous because he had ‘the truth on his side’ 

Jussie Smollett was sent this letter at the studio in Chicago where he filmed Empire on January 22, a week before the 'attack'. The brothers told police that he hired them because he was angry the studio didn't do more to protect him afterwards

Jussie Smollett was sent this letter at the studio in Chicago where he filmed Empire on January 22, a week before the ‘attack’. The brothers told police that he hired them because he was angry the studio didn’t do more to protect him afterwards

Jurors were shown footage of the Nigerian brothers involved in the alleged hate crime with Smollett two days before buying the supplies used in the attack

Jurors were shown footage of the Nigerian brothers involved in the alleged hate crime with Smollett two days before buying the supplies used in the attack

This is the rope purchased by the brothers to place around Smollett's neck in the days before the 'hoax' attack

This is the rope purchased by the brothers to place around Smollett’s neck in the days before the ‘hoax’ attack 

The detective on Tuesday testified that he thinks Smollett tightened the rope around his neck before police arrived to make it look more like a noose

The detective on Tuesday testified that he thinks Smollett tightened the rope around his neck before police arrived to make it look more like a noose 

They intend to argue that the pair pretended to befriend Jussie, with the intention of later attacking him for being gay.   

The jury of six men and six women (ten of whom are white, one of whom is black and one of whom is Hispanic), was shown two photos of him – one taken before cops arrived at his apartment and one taken afterwards – that suggested he’d tightened the rope for effect. 

Under cross-examination by Smollett’s attorney however, he admitted that he’d heard from another member of the Empire cast that Bola, who’d worked on set, attacked them for being gay. The police never followed it up. 

Smollett’s attorney also prompted him to reveal they had found homophobic social media posts on the brothers’ phone, where homosexual men were referred to as ‘fruits’. 

He also said that someone else that another gay cast member of Empire complained that Ola had attacked him because he is gay. 

The trial is expected to last a week.




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